Suspected bandits on Friday attacked a mosque in Zamfara state during the congregational Jummah prayer, killing five people and abducting 18 others, including the imam.
Mohammed Shehu, spokesman of the state’s police command, confirmed the incident on Sunday.
The bandits, numbering about 100, were said to have arrived in motorcycles and opened on the mosque located at Dutsen Gari village in Maru district as residents were observing the weekly Friday prayers.
The imam, identified as Yahaya, and some of the captives reportedly regained their freedom on Saturday.
Shehu said efforts are on to apprehend the perpetrators and secure the release of the other victims.
Several states in the north-west and north-east have repeatedly suffered attacks from armed bandits over the years.
In November, 14 persons were killed by suspected bandits in Karaye village, Gummi local government area of Zamfara.
The committee set up by Bello Matawalle, the state governor, to find solutions to banditry in the state, disclosed in October that suspected bandits collected over N3 billion as ransom from relatives of abducted victims from June 2011 to May 29, 2019.