Gunmen kidnap worshipers from a mosque in Nigeria

Nigeria: Dozens of worshipers were kidnapped during Friday afternoon prayers at a mosque in Nigeria's northwestern state of Zamfara, police and witnesses said.

Nigeria: Dozens of worshipers were kidnapped during Friday afternoon prayers at a mosque in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara, police and witnesses said.

Armed gangs are rampant across northwest Nigeria, where they rob or kidnap for ransom, and violence is growing, with overstretched security forces often failing to stop attacks.

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Zamfara Police Spokesman Muhammed Shehu said that an unknown number of worshipers were kidnapped from the Friday Central Mosque in Zogo town.

Zogo is located 170 km west of Gosau, the capital of Zamfara state.

“The Zamfara State Police Command, in cooperation with the army and guards, has sent personnel for the search and rescue operation,” he said.

Ibrahim Aminu, who was at the mosque, told the media that the gunmen hid their guns under their clothes and pretended to be worshipers.

He said that when they entered the mosque, they pulled out their weapons and fired in the air, forcing people to flee. The gunmen took dozens of worshipers by force to an unknown location.

Muhammed Boukar Zogo said his 22-year-old brother was among those kidnapped.

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He added that the gunmen later used his phone to call him and asked him to prepare a ransom, and said they did not say how much they wanted.