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Dozens kidnapped in raid on Katsina village

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Armed gunmen kidnapped dozens of women and children in a raid on a remote village in northwest Nigeria, officials and residents said Thursday.

Around 100 assailants on motorcycles stormed into Wurma village in Katsina state late Monday, seizing local residents and looting homes.

“Initially 42 people were abducted but eight managed to escape from their captors and returned home,” Jabir Tsauri, the district political administrator, told AFP.

Thirty-three women and children and one adult male were still missing, he said.

“The bandits have started making contacts with families of the kidnapped victims asking for ransom,” Tsauri said.

Wurma resident Sada Kabir told AFP the attackers moved door-to-door looting “everything they could lay their hands on”, including livestock, food and clothing.

“They left with everything, including condiments and matches. They left nothing for us,” he said.

Northwest Nigeria has seen a surge in kidnappings, cattle rustling and violence that the government blames on groups of armed bandits.

Local residents have often formed vigilante groups in a bid to defend themselves.

The gunmen maintain camps in Rugu forest which straddles Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states.

Last week 16 people were killed in assaults on four remote villages in Katsina state near the border with Niger.


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