More than 100 people, including women and children, were abducted when gunmen raided four villages in the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara on Sunday, the information and people commissioner said Monday. .
Kidnapping has become an epidemic in northwestern Nigeria as itinerant gangs of armed men kidnap people from villages, highways and farms, and demand ransom from their loved ones. surname.
More than 40 people have been kidnapped from Kanwa village in Zamfara’s Zurmi local government area, said Zamfara information commissioner Ibrahim Dosara and a local resident.
Another 37 people, mostly women and children, were arrested in the Kwabre community in the same local government area, the residents added, declining to be named for security reasons.
“Currently Kanwa village is deserted, the bandits split into two groups and attacked the community. They kidnap children between 14 and 16 years old and women,” said Kanwa villager.
In the communities of Yankaba and Gidan Goga in the Maradun local government area, at least 38 people were kidnapped while working on their farms, residents said.
Information Commissioner Dosara accused the gunmen of using the abductees as human shields against military air strikes.
Nigerian forces have launched a series of airstrikes in Zamfara and other struggling northern states, neutralizing many insurgents and knocking them out of hiding in the region’s vast forest reserves.
The country’s military was also criticized after some of its air strikes were found to have causing civilian death.
Last month, the Nigerian Air Force speak it is looking into “all allegations of accidental airstrikes on civilians as well as looking at the circumstances that led to such attacks.”