Security forces rescue nearly 200 kidnap victims in northwest Nigeria – FRANCE 24 English
© 2021 Copyright France 24 – All rights reserved. France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. Audience ratings certified by ACPM/OJD.
Issued on: 08/10/2021 – 08:30
Nigerian security forces have rescued nearly 200 kidnap victims during raids on camps of criminal gangs in dense forests in the country’s northwest, police said.
Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits have plagued northwest and central Nigeria for years, raiding and looting villages and abducting for ransom, but violence has surged over the past year.
The rescued victims — 187 men, women and children — were freed in Zamfara State, where they had been kidnapped in separate bandit attacks, police said late Thursday.
Police released photographs showing dozens of men, women and children sitting huddled on the ground after they were freed on Thursday.
“The abducted victims who spent many weeks in captivity were unconditionally rescued following extensive search and rescue operations that lasted for hours,” Zamfara State police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said in a statement.
The rescue was part of a weeks-long broader military operation in Zamfara and other northwestern states that has included telecoms blackouts to disrupt bandit communications.
The army said last week that it had “neutralised” nearly 300 criminals during the operations. But violence has not stopped.
On Tuesday, around 100 bandits on motorcycles besieged Kuryan Madaro village in Zamfara, killing 14 people and seizing money and mobile phones, residents said.
News of attacks in the northwest often emerges slowly since authorities suspended telecommunications last month in Zamfara and parts of Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states.
Telecom service was restored to Zamfara capital Gusau last week.
The gangs, who maintain camps in forests straddling those four states, have been increasingly targeting schools where they kidnap students for ransom.
Hundreds of schoolchildren have been abducted in mass kidnappings since December. Most have been freed or released after ransoms but dozens are still being held.
Bandit violence is just one challenge facing Nigeria’s security forces, who are also battling a 12-year jihadist insurgency in the northeast that has killed more than 40,000 people.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning
Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app
Scores killed in attacks on village, army base in northwestern Nigeria
One million Nigerian children to miss school due to threat of violence
Gunmen kidnap more than 70 students from high school in northwestern Nigeria
Ethiopian army launches ground offensive on Tigray forces, rebel group says
Tunisia's president names new government, 11 weeks after power grab
Suspects face trial in 1987 murder of ‘African Che Guevara’ Thomas Sankara
‘The revolution is not dead’: Thousands rally against Tunisian President Saied
Colombian nun freed four years after being kidnapped by Mali jihadists
Over 100 dead or missing after makeshift vessel sinks in DR Congo
Several migrants shot dead at Libyan detention centre
Macron addresses grievances of young Africans at revamped summit
Alice Nkom, Cameroon’s tireless defender of LGBTQ rights
Sierra Leone abolishes 'inhumane' death penalty
Macron seeks to rejuvenate relationship with Africa at summit
Security forces rescue nearly 200 kidnap victims in northwest Nigeria
The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.