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Nigeria: Gunmen kill 5, kidnap 40 in attack on mosque

23rd Nov 2020
Nigeria: Gunmen kill 5, kidnap 40 in attack on mosque

By Adam Abu-bashal

ABUJA, Nigeria (AA): At least five worshippers were killed and 40 others kidnapped when armed gunmen attacked a mosque in northwestern Nigeria, local media reported Sunday.

The attack by armed gangs occurred at a mosque in Zamfara state. The imam was among those reportedly abducted.

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 attackers ensured that worshippers were seated and listening to the sermon from the Imam before they invaded the worship centre.

Muhammed Shehu, a spokesperson for the Zamfara State Police, said security forces were dispatched to the region and an investigation was launched.

The country’s northwest sees occasional clashes between the herder Fulani people, one of the largest ethnic groups widely dispersed across West Africa, and neighboring sedentary tribes.

The Fulani, who migrated to the south to graze their cattle, claim farmers have tried to steal their animals and attack their people.

Armed groups sometimes take advantage of the conflicts and organize attacks.

Nearly 2,000 people have lost their lives in the region while thousands have been displaced.

Following the signing of “cessation of hostilities” agreements by different groups in August 2019, more than 2,000 members laid down their weapons.

*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

[Map of Nigeria by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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