At least 87 people were kidnapped in Nigeria

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The attack comes days after an armed gang seizes 286 students and staff from a school.
Gunmen in Nigeria have kidnapped at least 87 people in a new attack, residents and police say, after an armed gang seized 286 students and staff from a school earlier this month.
Officials on Monday said the attack took place in the Kajuru area of Kaduna state and the abducted included women and children.
Bandits routinely loot villages and carry out mass kidnappings for ransom in northwest and north-central Nigeria, where the violence has displaced about one million people, according to the United Nations.
“They went and removed people from their homes at gunpoint,” local official Ibrahim Gajere told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
This attack makes it five times that these bandits have attacked this community,” Sarkin told the Reuters news agency.
Aruwa Ya’u, another resident, said he was captured but later released by the gunmen because he struggled to walk due to his poor health.
On March 7, gunmen kidnapped more than 250 students from a school in Kuriga village, about 150km (93 miles) from Kajuru in one of the biggest attacks in years.
Kidnapping victims in Nigeria are often freed after negotiations with the authorities although a 2022 law bans handing money to kidnappers and officials deny ransom payments are made.
The Nigerian risk consultancy SBM Intelligence said it has recorded 4,777 people abducted since Tinubu took office in May.

Days have passed since 286 students and staff were taken hostage by an armed gang at a school.

Following the armed group’s earlier this month seizure of 286 students and staff from a school, gunmen in Nigeria are said to have kidnapped at least 87 people in a fresh attack, according to locals and police.

According to officials on Monday, women and children were among those kidnapped in the attack, which happened in Kaduna state’s Kajuru area.

Around a million people have been displaced by violence in northwest and north-central Nigeria, where bandits frequently plunder villages and execute mass kidnappings for ransom, according to the UN.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is under increasing pressure as a result of the authorities’ apparent helplessness in stopping the almost daily attacks.

Security personnel have been dispatched to rescue the villagers, according to Kaduna police spokesperson Mansur Hassan, who stated on Monday that the incident in Kajuru occurred on Sunday night.

Local official Ibrahim Gajere told the news agency Agence France-Presse, “They went and removed people from their homes at gunpoint.”.

Because they had parked their motorcycles outside of the village, the residents claimed that armed men wearing army uniforms entered the village unnoticed.

87 people were taken, according to Tanko Wada Sarkin, the village head.

“Five people who ran through the bush have returned home, as far as we have records. This is the fifth time these bandits have targeted this community, Sarkin told Reuters.

Another resident named Aruwa Ya’u said that because of his poor health, the gunmen had initially taken him prisoner but later released him. He claimed that he was getting care at a government clinic nearby.

Haruna Atiku stated, “We were talking outside our houses at 10:30 p.m. [21:30 GMT] when suddenly bandits appeared, beating and shooting.”. Two daughters and his wife are not present.

About 10 kilometers (6 miles) away, in the Dogon Noma area, 16 people were kidnapped on Saturday, according to authorities.

Approximately 150 km (93 miles) from Kajuru, on March 7, gunmen abducted over 250 students from a school in Kuriga village. This was one of the largest kidnappings in recent memory.

When the Boko Haram group captured over 200 students from a girls school in Chibok, Borno state, ten years ago, it was the group that began the practice of kidnapping students at schools in Nigeria. However, since then, criminal gangs that are merely looking for ransom payments and have no ideological ties have adapted the strategy.

Despite a 2022 law that forbids giving money to kidnappers and official denials that ransom payments are made, kidnapping victims in Nigeria are frequently set free following negotiations with the authorities.

Families and communities are being torn apart by the kidnappings, which force them to pool their savings in order to pay the ransoms. This frequently means selling valuables like grain, cattle, and land in order to secure the release of loved ones.

As of May, 4,777 persons have been reported kidnapped by Tinubu’s administration, according to the Nigerian risk consultancy SBM Intelligence.

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