Nigeria: Dozens Abducted in Another Mass Kidnapping Incident

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Another mass kidnapping took place in the Kaduna region on Tuesday, March 12th. At dawn, armed men attacked a village in the Kajuru district and abducted several dozen people. This latest attack comes just days after the abduction of nearly 300 students from Kuriga, also in the state of Kaduna. The rate of kidnappings has seemingly slowed down in recent months.

In the village of Buda, most residents were still asleep when the bandits invaded their community. House after house, men, women, and children were dragged from their beds and pushed into the forest amid sporadic gunfire.

According to witnesses cited by Nigerian media, the attack was halted by a providential intervention from Nigerian soldiers stationed a few kilometers from the village. In total, about sixty people were reported missing, but the number of hostages could have been much higher without the arrival of the soldiers.

This latest abduction comes just days after the kidnapping of nearly 300 students from a school in Kuriga, also in the state of Kaduna. Search operations are still ongoing to locate them.

During a visit to the region on Tuesday, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police announced the immediate deployment of armed officers around Kuriga. The local governor assures that search operations conducted by the military continue, with the assistance of local self-defense militias.

New Strategies Adopted by Bandits

To explain this resurgence of mass kidnappings in northwest Nigeria, particularly in the state of Kaduna, specialist James Barnett indicates that the bandits never truly ceased their criminal activities. They simply adopted other strategies, such as levying taxes on rural communities’ inhabitants, over which they reign terror.

According to this researcher, the recent mass kidnappings could be seen as a show of force by armed groups, perhaps in response to military operations aimed at dispersing them. Alternatively, they could be retaliatory actions following the recent creation of community militias in northwest Nigeria.

James Barnett emphasizes that the armed groups in this region of the country are not motivated by any particular ideology. Instead, they plan their actions primarily for funding purposes, or even for mere provocation.

Soukaina Sghir

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