Armed gunmen kidnapped at least 75 people from a village in northwest Nigeria, residents said on Saturday, the latest in a slew of abductions that have plagued the West African country’s west.
The spate of kidnappings has thwarted all security forces’ efforts to stem the crimes, often carried out for ransom, and posed a challenge to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The number of people kidnapped from (the village of) Rini must be more than seventy-five,” said Aliyu Tungar-Rini, a resident of the community in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state.
Habu Abubakar, also a resident of Rini village, said more than 80 people were kidnapped by the gunmen, who he said came wearing black clothes on more than 50 motorbikes.
“My shop was looted and I was left with a few things,” he said.
A police spokesman confirmed the abduction but declined to provide details.
“They abducted my uncle, I narrowly escaped death,” said Mohammed Dan Auwal, another resident.
He described the attack starting Friday afternoon and lasting until the early hours of Saturday, as the kidnappers went from house to house snatching children and the elderly.