Armed Men Kidnap Dozens In Zamfara State

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Armed men on motorbikes carrying out kidnapping activities is rife in Nigeria's northeast region.

ZAMFARA, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – At least 100 persons were abducted by gunmen in Zamfara state, residents said.

Armed men on motorcycles stormed villages in the state and kidnapped residents after the villagers failed to pay a “tax” imposed on them by the gunmen, witnesses say.

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In recent years, kidnapping for ransom has become rife in north-western Nigeria.

Armed gangs, referred to locally as bandits, target villages, schools, and travellers, demanding millions of naira in ransom.

According to the Reuters news agency, a local village head said one resident was killed in Friday’s attack.

The BBC heard from a resident from the village of Mutunji, who said he was abducted by the gunmen but managed to escape.

“We are trying to collect the money… but suddenly the bandits came in and robbed people. They took more than 100 people – most of them were women and young people,” the resident said.

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Locals told the BBC the gunmen’s leader is named “Damana”.

They said Damana controls most of the region in the absence of state security forces.

“The terrorists are in control of the area – they send us to the forest to work as agricultural labourers, and when we come back they come into the town to eat meat, tea and bottled goods without paying,” one villager complained.

Nigeria faces multiple security challenges: the jihadist insurgency in the north, deadly clashes between animal herders and farmers, a separatist insurgency in the southeast as well as militants in the Niger Delta demanding a greater share of oil profits.

President Bola Tinubu, who took office in May, has yet to detail how he will tackle the insecurity. During his election campaign, Mr Tinubu’s office acknowledged the challenge, touting his experience as governor of north-eastern Borno state, home to many Islamist militant groups and the Boko Haram insurgency.

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