Gunmen kidnap more than 75 people in northwest Nigeria

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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
Police on patrol after an attack by bandits in north-west Nigeria in 2020. Violence and insecruity in the region have accelerated in recent months amid a spike in kidnappings. Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Armed gunmen have 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.

Security forces have been unable to stem the crimes, often carried out for ransom, which pose a challenge to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The number of people kidnapped from (the village of) Rini must be more than 75,” said Aliyu Tungar-Rini, a resident of the community in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state.

Habu Abubakar, also a resident of the 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.

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