Gunmen in Nigeria claim 26 lives, abduct dozens

Gunmen affiliated with criminal gangs have perpetrated a harrowing assault on a village in northwestern Nigeria, resulting in the loss of 26 lives, including four policemen, and the abduction of numerous individuals.

The incident, which occurred in Gidan Boka village within Kankara district, underscores the escalating insecurity plaguing regions like Katsina, amidst the relentless activities of heavily armed gangs.

These criminal elements, often referred to as bandits, have established strongholds in expansive forests spanning Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger states. Employing motorcycles as their means of mobility, they descended upon Gidan Boka village late on Sunday, perpetrating violence and seizing residents, predominantly women and children.

Anas Isa, the political administrator of Kankara district, confirmed the grim toll, stating that alongside civilians, local vigilantes and law enforcement personnel fell victim to the attackers’ onslaught.

The exact number of those kidnapped is yet to be determined as authorities continue their assessment of the situation.

Law enforcement agencies in Katsina corroborated the assault, revealing that besides the civilian casualties, four police officers and two members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps were among the fatalities.

Tragically, the violence extended beyond Gidan Boka village, claiming the lives of five individuals from nearby Nakwabo village as they attempted to flee.

This incident is emblematic of a broader trend of escalating violence, particularly in states like Katsina and Zamfara. Just last month, similar attacks in Katsina state’s Sabuwa district resulted in the loss of 25 lives, predominantly local vigilantes.

Analysts and officials, while recognizing the bandits’ primary motivation as financial gain, have expressed growing concerns over their potential alignment with jihadist groups operating in the northeast, thus compounding the security challenges faced by Nigeria.

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