• Sunday, April 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Bandits attack Mosque in Zamfara, abduct worshippers during morning prayers

Scores of worshippers were abducted by bandits early Thursday morning in an attack on a mosque in Tsafe, the headquarters of Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

An eyewitness, Garba, who spoke to BusinessDay, narrated the harrowing experience. He said the attack unfolded around 5:00 a.m. just as worshippers were preparing for the morning prayer.

“We were about to begin our prayers when they (bandits) suddenly entered the mosque and ordered everyone outside,” Garba recounted. “There was pandemonium as people tried to escape, but the bandits blocked all exits and threatened to shoot anyone who disobeyed.”

Garba described how he managed to escape by jumping out of a window and hiding in an unfinished building near the mosque. He also revealed that the bandits had strategically parked their motorcycles away from the mosque to avoid attracting attention.

“They came on foot and left their bikes outside town to avoid raising suspicion,” Garba explained. “They then herded the worshippers towards their bikes and disappeared into the forest.”

According to Garba, the number of abducted worshippers could be upwards of 30, considering the packed mosque at the time of the attack. A community leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident and revealed efforts by the Community Protection Guards to track the bandits and secure the release of the abducted individuals.

Tsafe Local Government Area has become a hotspot for banditry in recent times. The 56-kilometer Tsafe-Gusau Road has emerged as a dangerous zone with frequent kidnapping incidents. Just days ago, scores of bandits reportedly lost their lives within the local government area due to clashes between rival groups.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the Zamfara State Police Command, ASP Yazid Abubakar, for comments were unsuccessful as calls to his phone went unanswered.

This brazen attack on a place of worship during prayer time has sent shockwaves through the community and underscored the ongoing security challenges faced by residents in Zamfara State.