ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — At least 29 people were abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s federal capital territory, Abuja, a local government official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The gunmen arrived after midnight on Tuesday and rounded up residents in Yewuti village, some who had been attending a local ceremony, said Daniel Ishaku, an aide to the chairman of the Kwali local council.
“They took people from the playground and then went into the houses and took some people …. They entered the bush with the people they carried walking on foot,” said Ishaku. The local Daily Trust newspaper said children were among those kidnapped and some of the hostages managed to escape.
Police officials arrived hours later and were searching for the assailants around the village, which lies about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Abuja’s city center. The attack further raised safety concerns among residents in Kwali and many other towns on the outskirts of Abuja where abductions for ransom have been rampant in the last year.
Nigeria has for many years battled several security crises. Until recently, the capital territory had been largely spared the abductions and killings by several armed groups which have plagued the north of the country, where it is located.
Since last year, however, the city has witnessed frequent attacks, including one in July when hundreds of inmates were freed from a maximum-security prison by suspected jihadis.