Nigeria: 25 people kidnapped in a church by gunmen
Sylvie Claire / May 9, 2023
Gunmen attacked a Baptist church in northwestern Nigeria on Sunday, kidnapping 25 worshippers, a church official said Monday.
This massive attack is the latest in a series in Nigeria where insecurity will be one of the main challenges of the new president Bola Tinubu who is due to take office at the end of the month.
On Sunday, the attackers broke into the Bege Baptist Church in the Chikun area of Kaduna State, initially kidnapping 40 people.
But 15 managed to escape afterwards, Reverend Joseph Hayab, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna state, told AFP.
Twenty-five are still being held" by the attackers, he added.
A Kaduna police spokesman confirmed the attack on Sunday, but declined to comment further for the moment.
Kidnappings are rife in northwest and central Nigeria. Hostages are held in camps hidden in vast forests awaiting payment of a ransom, an activity that has become very lucrative. Kidnappings can also be an issue between opposing communities.
Last month, 33 people were killed by gunmen in a village in Kaduna State in an attack that was part of a conflict between herding and farming communities over water and grazing resources.
Last year, assailants opened fire on a Catholic church in the southwestern state of Ondo, killing at least 40 people.