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Nigeria: release of 29 wedding guests kidnapped two weeks ago

2022-06-24T22:54:41.665Z

Twenty-nine people abducted by gunmen two weeks ago on their way home from a wedding in northwestern Nigeria have been...



Twenty-nine people abducted by gunmen two weeks ago as they returned from a wedding in northwestern Nigeria were released on Thursday, relatives told AFP on Friday (June 24th).

"Twenty-nine of our members abducted two weeks ago were released on Thursday after we paid 20 million naira

(46,000 euros)

to their captors

," said Kabiru Garba Mukhtar, the head of the Zamfara Mobile Traders Union. .

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The victims - all mobile phone traders - had been abducted on the night of June 11-12 after one of their vehicles broke down on their way back to Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state, after attending at the wedding of a colleague in the neighboring state of Sokoto.

The day after the abduction, Kabiru Garba Mukhtar told AFP that 30 wedding guests were abducted while 20 others managed to escape.

In reality, 29 people were kidnapped and all were released, he claimed.

"Their release follows intense negotiations with the

'bandits'

who initially demanded a ransom of 145 million naira

(331,000 euros)

for the hostages

," said Mustapha Halifa, another union official, who also confirmed the number of 29 people abducted and released.

In the wake of their release, the victims were hospitalized for illnesses contracted due to the

"difficult conditions"

of their captivity, said Mustapha Halifa.

Read alsoNigeria: the army finds two “Chibok girls” eight years later

Heavily armed criminal gangs, known locally as

"bandits"

, operate in northwestern and central Nigeria, where they attack villages and carry out mass kidnappings for ransom despite military operations designed to combat them.

On Wednesday, gunmen abducted 22 farmers from their fields on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja, the latest in a long series of kidnappings in Africa's most populous country.

These gangs act for financial reasons, without a priori ideological claims.

But possible alliances with jihadist groups, which have been leading an insurgency in the Northeast for 13 years, raise many concerns.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-06-24

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