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Dozens abducted in new Nigeria kidnapping: sources

Battling against criminal kidnap gangs is just one of the challenges for Nigeria's armed forces
Battling against criminal kidnap gangs is just one of the challenges for Nigeria's armed forces - Copyright AFP Audu Marte
Battling against criminal kidnap gangs is just one of the challenges for Nigeria's armed forces - Copyright AFP Audu Marte

Gunmen abducted dozens of people from a northwestern Nigerian village on Tuesday, according to two local representatives and a UN source, just days after the kidnapping of more than 250 pupils from a school in the same region.

Criminal gangs often carry out mass kidnappings in northwest Nigeria, targeting schools, villages and highways where they can quickly snatch large numbers of people for ransom payments.

Tuesday’s abductions in Kaduna State’s Kajuru district came as security forces searched for the pupils who were kidnapped from their school in Kuriga village about 150 kilometres (93 miles) away.

The spate of large-scale abductions is challenging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government, which promised to tackle insecurity while also managing a cost-of-living crisis and bringing more investment to Africa’s most populous nation.

Kaduna State officials did not immediately respond to requests for information on the new attack.

But local councillor Abubakar Buda told Channels TV that gunmen stormed the village early Tuesday morning, going house-to-house to kidnap residents and opening fire sporadically.

Buda said only a military intervention stopped more people from being kidnapped, according to Channels. State lawmaker Usman Danlami Stingo told Arise News that 32 women and 29 men had been snatched.

A UN source, who was not authorised to speak publically to the media, also told AFP that gunmen stormed the village early Tuesday morning.

“The initial tally showed 40 persons were abducted but the figure rose to around 60,” the source said.

Officials say troops are searching forests in the northwest to rescue the Kuriga students, but families say little detail has emerged since the abductions.

The mass kidnapping in Kaduna State and another in the northeast a week before came almost 10 years after Boko Haram militants triggered a huge international outcry in 2014 by abducting more than 250 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state.

AFP
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