Nigerian police rescue eight from gunmen kidnap in Katsina state

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Police on patrol after an attack by bandits in north-west Nigeria in 2020. Authorities say cattle thieves have killed 66 people in a spate of violence in the region. Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Nigerian police rescued eight people after thwarting an attempted kidnap by gunmen on a road in the northwest state Katsina, a police spokesperson said.

Gambo Isah, the police spokesperson in Katsina, said in a statement reaching Xinhua on Saturday that a group of gunmen armed with AK 47 rifles blocked a road at Kabobi village in Batsari local government area of the state on Friday, attacking and attempting to whisk all occupants of a vehicle into the forest.

A team of police operatives were sent to the village after receiving a distress call and engaged the bandits in a gun duel during which eight victims were rescued, Isah said.

“Those rescued include a 70-year-old man, a 13-year-old girl, three 12-year-old girls, all from Garin Inu village, Batsari local government area of Katsina state,” he said, adding that a 20-year-old mother and her two children were also among those rescued.

The police spokesperson said the police are still combing the area with a view of arresting the fleeing bandits and rescuing the remaining three missing persons after the gunmen attack.

The northern part of the most populous African country has witnessed a series of attacks by armed groups in recent months, leading to many deaths and civilians kidnapped.

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