MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gunmen abducted dozens of worshipers from a mosque in Nigeria’s northwest Zamfara state on Friday, authorities and witnesses said.
Zamfara state police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said worshipers were abducted from a mosque in downtown Zugu, a town 170 kilometers west from the state capital, Gusau.
“The Zamfara state police have deployed officers, in cooperation with the army and militias, to carry out search and rescue operations,” he said.
Ibrahim Aminu, who was at the mosque, told Reuters that gunmen took dozens of worshipers to an unknown location.
Mohammed Bukar Zugu said his brother was abducted, and the kidnappers then used his phone to call him and ask him to prepare to pay a ransom, but did not specify the amount.
Violence has increased in northwestern Nigeria, where armed gangs are robbing and kidnapping people before demanding ransom.
Overwhelmed, security forces often fail to counter attacks.
(Report by Maiduguri and Ibrahim Hamza in Kano, written by MacDonald Dzirutwe; French version Camille Raynaud)
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