Nigerian police pursue Kaduna kidnappers

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Ishaq Khalid BBC News, Abuja

The authorities in Nigeria’s Kaduna state say efforts are underway to locate more than a dozen family members – including a nursing mother and her baby – abducted by gunmen over the weekend in a remote village.

This is the latest in a spate of attacks by suspected armed criminal gangs on rural communities in northwest Nigeria.

Residents and officials say the victims – including men, women and children – were going to farm on foot in the village of Gonar Lema when gunmen riding motorbikes intercepted them.

But there are conflicting accounts on the exact number of people abducted. Residents say 17 while officials say 13. One of four others wounded later died in a hospital. All the victims were members of the same family.

Those abducted include a nursing mother and her infant.

The Chairperson of Chikun local government area in Kaduna state where the incident happened, Hadiza Ladi Yahuza, told the BBC that security forces and local vigilante groups were trying to locate the abductors and the victims.

It is not yet clear who carried out the attack. But criminal gangs often target rural communities in northwest Nigeria carrying out killings and kidnapping for ransom.