A resident of the central Nigerian plateau state and a community leader said Monday that gunmen had killed at least 50 people and abducted dozens more.
It is the latest in a string of armed gang attacks across central and northern Africa’s most populous country.
According to Jonathan Ishaku, a spokesman for the Plato Elders Forum, “This is very sad again and we strongly condemn it. The security forces should ensure immediate rescue of all the abducted persons.
He said at least 50 people from nine communities were killed and 60 others, including women and children, were taken away on Sunday afternoon.
Simon Lalong, a spokesman for the state governor, said: “Many people have been killed, homes and property destroyed.
He did not say how many died.
On the plateau, such attacks are rare. However, the state shares a border with the state of Kaduna in the northwestern part of the country, where suspected bandits – criminal gangs who rob and kidnap – blew up railways, killed eight people and stole scores last month.
Last week, militants attacked the Kaduna army base, killing 15 soldiers.
In most rural Nigeria, phone coverage is tainted, making it impossible for locals to seek emergency assistance from security personnel, who are under pressure from militant groups such as Boko Haram in the northeast and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP).
When he heard the gunshots, Isaiah Solomon, a Kukawar from the attacking community, said he fled in a car with his family and returned that night after the attackers disappeared.
He told Reuters by phone from Jose, the capital of the plateau state, on Monday that his house and several others had been set on fire, while shops were looted and locals were rescuing relatives dead.
“Those 36 people have been killed in our community. Many of our houses have been burnt to ashes, many shops have been looted, ”said Solomon.
Image Credit: Getty
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