Residents claimed on Saturday that armed gunmen kidnapped at least 75 people from a community in north-west Nigeria, the latest in a series of abductions that have plagued the West African country’s west.
The recent surge of kidnappings has stymied all efforts by security personnel to put a stop to the crimes, which are frequently carried out for ransom, and has provided a challenge to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The number of persons taken from (the hamlet of) Rini must be more than 75,” said Aliyu Tungar-Rini, a resident of the settlement in Zamfara state in north-west Nigeria.
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.