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Gunmen kidnap 25 in a Nigerian church

Gunmen kidnap 25 in a Nigerian church
A police officer stands guard inside the St. Francis Catholic Church, a day...   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


A gunman attacked a Baptist church in northwestern Nigeria on Sunday, abducting 25 worshippers, a church official said Monday.

The massive attack is the latest in a series of attacks in Nigeria, where insecurity will be one of the main challenges for the new president, Bola Tinubu, who is due to take office later this month.

On Sunday, the attackers broke into the Bege Baptist Church in the Chikun area of Kaduna State, initially kidnapping 40 people.

But 15 managed to escape afterward, the Rev. Joseph Hayab, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna state, told AFP.

"Twenty-five are still being held" by the attackers, he added.

A police spokesman in Kaduna confirmed the attack on Sunday but declined to comment further.

Kidnappings are rife in northwest and central Nigeria. Hostages are held in camps hidden in vast forests awaiting ransom payment, an activity that has become very lucrative. Kidnappings can also be an issue between opposing communities.

Last month, 33 people were killed by gunmen in a village in Kaduna State in an attack that was part of a conflict between herding and farming communities over water resources and grazing land.

Last year, assailants opened fire on a Catholic church in southwestern Ondo, killing at least 40 people.

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