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Nigeria gunmen kill at least 25 in village raid, officials say

In World
June 11, 2024

At least 25 people have been killed and others abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s northwestern Katsina state, authorities say.

Dozens of gunmen on motorbikes stormed Yargoje in Kankara late on Sunday, the state commissioner for security affairs, Nasiru Babangida Mu’azu, told BBC Hausa.

Attacks by armed gangs – referred to locally as bandits – in north-west and central Nigeria have become almost routine, with authorities seemingly powerless to stop them, despite claims by the government and security forces that they are working to end the widespread insecurity.

Residents told the BBC that dozens of gunmen on motorbikes rode into the community, shooting indiscriminately and looting shops before abducting an unspecified number of villagers.

“The people killed by bandits are more than 50, because some dead bodies are still being recovered from the bush,” said a resident, who did not want to be named.

“They killed children, women and men, and kidnapped a huge amount of people. They injured more than 30 residents who are currently receiving treatment at the general hospital.”

Another resident, Abdullahi Yunusa Kankara, told Reuters that he narrowly escaped the onslaught, which he said continued into the early hours of Monday.

“Our town has turned into a death zone. Almost every house in the village has fallen victim to this attack. More dead bodies were recovered this [Monday] morning,” he said.

Surviving residents are trying to ascertain how many people have been abducted.

In December 2020, more than 300 pupils were kidnapped from a boys’ secondary boarding school on the outskirts of Kankara by a gang of gunmen on motorcycles. They were later freed, a week after the Katsina state government confirmed they were in talks with the kidnappers.

In March this year, dozens of passengers were kidnapped in a broad daylight attack also in the same area of Katsina, the state where former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari hails from.

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