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Zamfara: Attack on mosque leaves five dead, 18 kidnapped

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Daredevil gunmen on Friday attacked worshippers in a mosque in Zamfara, Northwest Nigeria, killing five, while 18 worshippers were abducted.

Police Sources said they have identified the gunmen to be cattle rustlers who were about 100 on motorbikes.

They opened fire on a Muslim congregation in remote Dutsen Gari village in Maru district as residents were observing the weekly Friday prayers.

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Police said five persons lost their lives while 18 persons were kidnapped including the Chief Imam of the mosque.

But villagers said they have identified 30 missing persons who went to mosque to pray, but never returned home, believing that they might have been abducted.

According to a resident, abductors came when the Imam was minutes into his sermon, opened fire on worshippers who began shouting ‘Allah ak bir’, killed five persons and. abducted others.

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Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States in Northwest Nigeria have been notorious for cattle rustlers who daily raid villages with heavy human casualties

The gangs maintain camps in the Rugu forest which straddles Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states from where they launch attacks.

Troop deployments and peace talks with local authorities have failed to end the attacks.

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Unlike Boko Haram jihadists, the criminal gangs have no ideological leanings, but concerns are growing that the jihadists are gradually infiltrating the gangs.

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