Bandits have kidnapped at least 60 people in a fresh attack on a community in Zamfara State, an official has said.

The Zamfara State Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara, told TVC News Friday evening that the bandits stormed Rini community on Thursday night.

He said that after the attack, 60 residents of the community could not be accounted for by the other residents.

In the interview, monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, the commissioner said bandits are intensifying attacks in the state because of the offensive by the Nigerian military, especially the Nigerian Air Force, against the bandits.

Zamfara is one of the states most affected by banditry in Northern Nigeria. Hundreds of people have been killed or kidnapped in the past year by the armed men in the state.

Rini is in Bakura Local Government Area, where bandits kidnapped 15 students and four staff in a Sunday night attack.

Two days after the students’ abduction, a video surfaced where the students where seen pleading with the Zamfara State government to “do the needful,” a euphemism for payment of ransom, in 24 hours.

A notorious bandit, Halilu Kachalla, who operates in Bakura, Maradun, Shinkafi (all in Zamfara State) and Sabon Birni (in Sokoto State) is suspected to be behind the abduction of the students of the College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences.

Freeing the Students

In the interview, Mr Dosara said the state government has intensified efforts to rid the state of banditry and all sort of criminality.

He also assured parents and relations of the abducted students and staff that they would be released in the next 48 hours.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the ransom demanded by the bandits for the students has been slashed from N350 million to N150 million.

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