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Scores abducted along Sokoto-Gusau highway by armed bandits

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Gunmen kidnap Lebanese contractor, kill driver, soldier attached to him

By Saleh Inuwa, Kano

Scores of passengers have reportedly been abducted by armed bandits along Sokoto-Gusau highway in the early hours of Sunday.

An official of the Sokoto State Government who confirmed the incident to journalists did not state the exact number of passengers abducted.

READ ALSO: Armed bandits abduct councillor, 8 others in Sokoto

However, a resident in the area told journalists that over 50 passengers were kidnapped.

Another source said most of the passengers abducted boarded buses belonging to the Sokoto State Transport Authority (SPORA).

Confirming the attack, Yahuza Chika, the General Manager of the Sokoto Mass Transit, said only one of their buses was involved, while other vehicles involved did not belong to the state-owned company.

He said two people from the bus escaped while the other passengers were taken by the bandits. He did not give the number of those kidnapped from his organizations bus.

Also, a motorist from Talata Mafara going to Sokoto, Abubakar Umar, said more than 50 people were kidnapped during the operation that lasted more than 30 minutes.

He said, “I was driving when I started hearing gunshots. I had to stop immediately after Lambar Bakura and other motorists stopped too.

“When the road was cleared, we drove to the spot and they were many vehicles empty parked. I counted three empty SPORA vehicles.

“Another motorist, Isa Mustapha, said the attack occurred few minutes after he drove past the spot.

“From Tureta to Lambar Bakura, you can count more than ten security checkpoints that include police, immigration and soldiers, he wondered how then could bandits be terrorising same place every day?

“I left just a little after 11 in the morning and I started getting calls to confirm whether I’ve left the spot because bandits have started attacking people. It’s scary,” said Mustapha.

Ahmad Madunaka, a school teacher in Sokoto, said commuters in the first three vehicles were completely kidnapped including the SPORA vehicle.

Kidnapping for ransom has become rampant in Sokoto and other states in Nigeria.

The attacks in Sokoto and other states in northwest region of the country are being carried out by armed bandits whose aim is to terrorise residents and make money from them.

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