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Gunmen abduct over 40 Katsina residents

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Security operatives rescue 30
Gunmen have abducted more than 40 worshippers, including women and children, in a mosque at Kwata community, Jibia Local Council of Katsina State.

But a joint security operation that responded shortly after the incident reported rescuing 30 of the victims.

The incident occurred about 2.00 a.m. yesterday as the victims were holding Tahajjud prayers.

Tahajjud is special Islamic prayer mostly held during the Ramadan fast, after the last night prayer (Isha), and before the morning prayer (Fajr).

According to sources, the abductors stormed the mosque in their numbers with sophisticated weapons and whisked away 47 persons.

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A source added that seven persons later returned.

The local council, located near the dreaded Rugu forest, had been hit by insecurity in recent times.

Last week, bandits abducted dozens of travellers and killed one Ibrahim Dankabo, a photojournalist with the information unit of the council.

Dankabo was trying to save a woman who was being kidnapped when he was shot dead.

Also, last month, residents took the laws into their hands and killed three suspected bandits.

Spokesperson to the police command in the state, SP Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said that joint security operatives, including police and military rescued 30 of the 40 victims.

He said the bandits came from Zurumi border town in Zamfara State during Tahajjud prayers in the outskirts of Jibia forest.

“The bandits, who came in their numbers, surrounded the worshippers in a newly-constructed mosque at the outskirt of Jibia. It is around Abattoir quarters, which is their notorious route into Jibia. They surrounded the worshippers and fired a shot into the air, after which they abducted about 40 of them.

“But a combined effort of the police, military, local vigilante and members of the community went after them and succeeded in rescuing about 30 of the victims. When we conducted a headcount this morning, about 10 are still missing, but we are not sure if they are actually with the bandits or they ran to other places for safety. But investigation is ongoing,” Isah stated.

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