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Over 25 dead, others abducted after village raid by unknown gunmen – Officials

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Gunmen on motorcycles attacked the village of Yargoje in Kankara, located in Nigeria’s northwestern Katsina state, late on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of at least 25 people and the abduction of several others, according to authorities.

Nasiru Babangida Mu’azu, the state commissioner for security affairs, informed BBC Hausa that dozens of armed individuals carried out the assault, riding motorcycles and engaging in indiscriminate shooting while looting shops in the community.

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These attacks by armed groups, commonly known as bandits, in the north-west and central regions of Nigeria have become alarmingly frequent, with authorities appearing unable to effectively counter them.

Despite the government and security forces’ assurances of efforts to curb the widespread insecurity, the situation persists, leaving residents feeling vulnerable.

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Eyewitnesses recounted to the BBC how the assailants arrived in the community on motorcycles, firing shots at random, and pillaging shops before seizing an unspecified number of villagers.

“The people killed by bandits are more than 50, because some dead bodies are still being recovered from the bush,” said a resident who did not want to be named.

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“They killed children, women and men, and kidnapped a huge amount of people. They injured more than 30 residents who are currently receiving treatment at the general hospital.”

Another resident, Abdullahi Yunusa Kankara, told Reuters that he narrowly escaped the onslaught, which he said continued into the early hours of Monday.

“Our town has turned into a death zone. Almost every house in the village has fallen victim to this attack. More dead bodies were recovered this [Monday] morning,” he said.

Residents who managed to escape the attack are now attempting to determine the exact number of individuals who have been abducted.

The incident in Yargoje recalls previous instances of mass kidnappings in the region. In December 2020, over 300 students were abducted from a boys’ secondary boarding school on the outskirts of Kankara by gunmen on motorcycles.

They were eventually released a week later, following negotiations between the Katsina state government and the kidnappers.

Similarly, in March of this year, numerous passengers were kidnapped during a brazen daylight assault in the same area of Katsina State, the home State of former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

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