Abuja, June 9 (IANS) At least 23 travelers were kidnapped on Friday in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Kaduna, media reports said.
A nursing mother and her baby were among victims of the abduction.
The travelers were traveling along the dangerous Birnin-Gwari road in Kaduna when the gunmen intercepted them at Kwanar-Tsauni, between Udawa and Labi villages in the area, Xinhua reported.
Mohammed Kebi, a commercial driver who witnessed the incident, said at least five vehicles were intercepted by the kidnappers at about 11 a.m. local time.
Another witness, Musa Yakubu, said the Birnin-Gwari road had become a haven of kidnappers.
Dozens of attacks have been recorded in Nigeria’s northwestern region since the beginning of the year, despite efforts to calm the situation by the government.
The Birnin-Gwari expressway has become one of the most dangerous routes to ply in northern Nigeria, according to locals.
Last week on Thursday, at least 25 passengers were abducted on the same road by gunmen. They, too, were occupying five vehicles when the gunmen struck, leading them to a bush.
Last month, the Nigerian military confirmed 107 passengers kidnapped on the Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway.
Recent activities of gunmen operating in that axis had prompted Nigeria’s army chief, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to deploy more troops, charging them to end the killings and rampant destruction of property, including farmlands.
Concerned with the incessant kidnapping and killing, a local transport union in the area had also cautioned its members from plying the route until troops end the attacks.