Nigeria: Gunmen abduct more than 100 in northeast Zamfara state

More than 100 people, including women and children, were kidnapped by gunmen in a raid on four villages in northwestern Zamfara state on Sunday, the information commissioner and local residents said on Monday.

Kidnapping is rampant in north-west Nigeria, as roving gangs of gunmen kidnap people from villages, highways and farms and demand ransom from their relatives.

More than 40 people have been kidnapped from Kanwa village in Zurmi district of Zamfara, said Zamfara Information Commissioner Ibrahim Dosara and a local resident.

Another 37, mostly women and children, were taken to the Kwabre community in the same governorate, the resident added, declining to be identified by name for security reasons.

“Right now the village of Kanwa is deserted, the bandits split into two groups and attacked the community. They kidnapped children between the ages of 14 and 16 and women,” said the resident of Kanwa village.

At least 38 people were abducted while working on their farms in Yankaba and Gidan Goga communes of Maradun district, local residents said.

Information Commissioner Dosara accused the gunmen of using abductees as human shields against military airstrikes.

Nigerian forces have launched a series of airstrikes in Zamfara and other troubled northern states, neutralizing many insurgents and driving them from hiding in the region’s vast forest reserves.

The country’s military has also come under criticism after some of its airstrikes were found to have killed civilians.

Last month, the Nigerian Air Force said it was reviewing “all claims of accidental airstrikes on civilians and the circumstances that led to such attacks.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *