11 Jun 2024, 17:59

Nigeria gunmen kill 26, kidnap dozens

KANO, Nigeria, June 11, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Gunmen from criminal gangs killed 26

people, including four policemen, and kidnapped dozens more in a raid on a
northwestern Nigerian village, the latest in a spate of attacks, police and a
local official said.

Katsina is one of several states in northwestern and central Nigeria
terrorised by heavily armed gangs, who carry out mass abductions for ransom
as well as burning and looting homes.

The gangs, who maintain camps in a huge forest straddling Zamfara, Katsina,
Kaduna and Niger states, have also undertaken large-scale kidnappings of
students from schools in recent years.

The criminals -- referred to as bandits by locals -- entered Gidan Boka
village in Kankara district at around 2100 GMT on Sunday on motorcycles,
shooting and abducting residents.

"Bandits attacked Gidan Boka village on Sunday, killing 26 people and
abducting dozens of residents, mostly women and children," Anas Isa,
political administrator of Kankara district, told AFP.

"Those killed included policemen and local vigilantes who confronted the
bandits," he said without giving their number.

Isa said his office was still working to ascertain the number of people

Police in Katsina confirmed the attack in a statement late on Monday.

"The armed bandits attacked Gidan Boka village, killing 15 people and
injuring two others," the police statement said.

"They also ambushed our patrol team and killed four police officers... and
two members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps," it added, referring
to a self-defence militia set up by the state to help police.

The criminals also shot dead five residents of nearby Nakwabo village as they
were fleeing.

Bandits have recently stepped up attacks, particularly in Katsina and Zamfara

Last month, the gangs raided four villages in Katsina state's Sabuwa
district, killing 25 people, mostly local vigilantes, in apparent reprisals
over military offensives on their hideouts, according to a local official.

Bandits have no ideological leaning and are motivated by financial gain. But
analysts and officials have expressed concern over their increasing alliance
with jihadists waging a 15-year armed rebellion in the northeast.

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