Gunmen have killed five worshippers and kidnapped 18 in an attack on a mosque during prayers in Zamfara state, according to police sources on Sunday.
Around 100 cattle thieves on motorcycles opened fire on a Muslim congregation in remote Dutsen Gari village in Maru district as residents were observing the weekly Friday prayers. The bandits killed five worshippers and kidnapped 18 others, including the imam, police spokesman in the state Mohammed Shehu confirmed. Residents, however, said more than 30 worshippers were abducted.
Northwest Nigeria is a hotbed of criminal gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle, kidnapping for ransom and burning homes after looting food supplies. The gangs maintain camps in the Rugu forest which straddles Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states from where they launch attacks.