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Dozens of wedding guests abducted in Nigeria

Dozens of wedding guests abducted in Nigeria
FILE - Three men seated on the ground, identified by police officers as kidnappers of ...   -  
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Gbemiga Olamikan/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


Armed men have abducted at least 29 people in the north-western Nigerian state of Zamfara, the police have confirmed.

According to reports, the victims were returning home from a wedding ceremony when the armed men ambushed a convoy of their vehicles.

The victims, mostly mobile phone dealers from a popular market in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital had attended the wedding of one of their colleagues in neighbouring Sokoto state.

One man who survived the attack claimed the gunmen had mounted three roadblocks on Saturday evening, trapping vehicles and opening fire on them, the survivor told the BBC.

A number of travellers managed to escape on foot with gunshot wounds, abandoning their vehicles.

"One of the gunmen was running after me, firing and telling me to stop. But I didn't stop and God helped me to escape," Mr Jafar Kanoma, one of the victims told the BBC.

The police say security forces have mounted a search for dozens of hostages.

The Nigerian authorities are under pressure and facing increasing criticism for failing to tackle the widespread insecurity including frequent killings and kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs.

In a speech to mark the 23rd anniversary of Nigeria’s return to democracy on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the rise in violence by various armed groups across the country.

He said his government was doing its best to address the problem.

More than 3,500 people have been killed in the first three months of this year alone and thousands more have been kidnapped.

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