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Gunmen kidnap 30 Passengers in Niger

A file photo of gunmen used to illustrate this story

Gunmen yesterday abducted 30 passengers in three vehicles at Garun Gabas in Rafi local government area of Niger State.

The gunmen were said to have barricaded the Zungeru-Garun Gabas Expressway, preventing travellers from proceeding with their journey.

The assailants got hold of three vehicles comprising of a eighteen-seater bus and two other vehicles.

The incident occured about 3pm.

Villagers of Garun Gabas told newsmen that the gunmen were shooting for over 30 minutes before taking the passengers away.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun promised to get a call back to our reporters. He however was yet to do so as at the time of publishing this report.

Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits have terrorised the northwest and central Nigeria for years, raiding and looting villages; but attacks have become even more violent in recent months.

The gangs have been increasingly targeting schools, kidnapping students to squeeze ransom from authorities and parents.

Nigeria has increased military operations in the main regions targeted by the bandits, but officials and residents worry they are fleeing to other areas.

Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kaduna states have restricted telecommunications services in some areas amid other measures such as bans on the transport of cattle and firewood, suspension of some animal markets and caps on fuel sales.

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