100 Abducted Victims, Mainly Women, Children, Freed in Nigeria

The authorities have said that they have freed 100 women and children, who were abducted by bandits. The residents of Manawa village in Zamfara State, were held hostage for 42 days. The state government said they were released without any ransom being paid, but gave no further details. The victims will be given medical check-ups before being reunited with their families.

Heavily armed gangs - called bandits by locals - have for a long time plagued the northwest and central Nigeria by looting, stealing cattle, and abducting people for ransom. On July 18, 2021 during a raid against a criminal gang, a Nigerian air force plane was shot down on the border of Zamfara and Kaduna states. The pilot survived the attack by ejecting from the plane and fleeing to safety.

Since December 2020, more than 1,000 people have been abducted. Most have later been freed, reportedly after ransoms were paid, but some have been killed. In March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari has imposed a no-fly zone - an area over which certain aircraft are not permitted to fly - in Zamfara State, in a bid to end the banditry that has ravaged the state.

InFocus

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