Nigerian authorities have acknowledged that at least 120 civilians have been kidnapped by bandits who are now seeking ransoms for their captives.
According to authorities, approximately 120 people, mostly women and children, were abducted between four villages in northwestern Nigeria on Sunday. The abductions took place in Kanwa, Kwabre, Yankaba, and Gidan Goga villages. A witness speaking to a news outlet from one of the villages said, “Kanwa village is deserted. The bandits divided themselves into two groups and attacked the community. They kidnapped children aged 14 to 16 and women.”
Nigeria’s Information Minister said the military was dealing with a very difficult situation as the kidnappers were using those abudcted as “human shields.” He also alluded that the government knew where the kidnapped civilians were.
This all comes as Nigeria has been dealing with significant violence for decades but has recently experienced an uptick in kidnappings as bandits seek to collect ransoms from loved ones. Last year, Nigeria reported over 3,000 kidnappings in the first six months of 2021 alone.