Bandits kidnapped 80 children in Zamfara State’s Tsafe Local Government Area on Friday morning.
The children range in age from 12 to 17, according to BBC Hausa.
According to some of the abducted children’s parents who spoke to the British broadcaster, the victims were in the bush fetching firewood around 8:00 a.m. when the assailants rounded them up and marched them away into the forest.
Bandits’ activities in Zamfara have not stopped despite several government interventions to stop them. Hundreds of schoolchildren have been kidnapped and some have been released after a ransom has been paid.
As of the time the BBC reported the kidnapping, the abductors had yet to contact the parents in order to make any demands.
Three residents who spoke to Reuters said the kidnapping occurred on Friday in Wanzamai village, Tsafe local government area, Zamfara. Zamfara is one of the states hardest hit by kidnappings.
Musa Usman, whose 14-year-old son Ibrahim was among those kidnapped, said the bandits abducted children and women from the village while they were clearing land for farming and collecting firewood.
“The children from different households went to collect firewood and few of them were going to farms in search of manual jobs when they were abducted,” Usman told Reuters by phone.
Haruna Noma, another parent, said some of those taken were from two nearby villages of Kucheri and Danwuri who had gone to Wanzamai to clear land to farm.
The gunmen had not yet made ransom demands, the residents said.
Amina Tsafe said her daughter was also abducted and confirmed that most of the children taken were aged between 12 and 17 years.
Zamfara police spokesperson Mohammed Shehu confirmed the incident in a statement but did not say how many people were abducted. The police were working with the military and community security guards to rescue the victims, he said.