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Gunmen abduct 18 traders in Niger


Gunmen have abducted 18 traders in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

The traders were travelling from Pandogari town in Rafi Local Government to Bassa village for the weekly market.

The incident was said to have occurred last Saturday.

The traders were in an 18- seater bus when they ran into a blockade by the gunmen, who shot sporadically.

An eyewitness said yesterday that the traders were mostly women. Although some men were among them.

The eyewitness said the traders were forced into a waiting bus and driven into the bush.

The source noted that this was not the first time that such an incident would occur. “It has now become a regular feature that no one is doing anything about.”

It was gathered that most of the traders had contacted their families, asking them to pay the ransom demanded, to secure their release.

The eyewitness said the ransom being demanded was between N200,000 and N500,000, depending on their ‘personality’.

“They are asking the relations to bring the ransom to a location as far as Funtua town in Katsina State, to avoid being traced by the police. Some of the families are already complying,” the source said.

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When contacted, police spokesman Mohammad Abubakar said: “We heard about the incident, but no official report has been made.

“We are investigating the matter. We will get back to you when we get official report.”

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