Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Dozens of armed men on motorcycles stormed Yargoje in Kankara

  • Author, Chris Ewokor
  • Role, BBC news
  • Reporting from Abuja

At least 25 people have been killed and others kidnapped by armed men in Nigeria’s northwestern Katsina state, authorities say.

Dozens of armed men on motorcycles stormed Yargoje in Kankara late on Sunday, State Commissioner for Security Affairs Nasiru Babangida Mu’azu told BBC Hausa.

Attacks by armed gangs – locally called bandits – in northwestern and central Nigeria have become almost routine, with authorities seemingly powerless to stop them, despite claims by the government and security forces that they are working to put an end to them to widespread insecurity.

Residents told the BBC that dozens of gunmen rode into the community on motorcycles, shooting indiscriminately and looting shops before kidnapping an unspecified number of villagers.

“More than 50 people have been killed by bandits as some dead bodies are still being recovered from the bush,” said a resident, who declined to be named.

“They killed children, women and men, and kidnapped a huge number of people. They injured more than 30 residents currently being treated at the general hospital.”

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

“Our city has turned into a death zone. Almost every house in the village fell victim to this attack. “More dead bodies have been recovered this Monday morning,” he said.

Surviving residents are trying to determine how many people were kidnapped.

In December 2020, more than 300 students were kidnapped from a secondary boys’ boarding school on the outskirts of Kankara by a gang of armed men on motorcycles. They were later released a week after the Katsina state government confirmed they were in talks with the kidnappers.

In March this year, dozens of passengers were kidnapped in a broad daylight attack, also in the same area of ​​Katsina, the home state of former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.