At least eight worshipers, including a pastor, were kidnapped Sunday from a Baptist church in Gidigori, in the Rafi local government area of Niger state.
Residents said the incident occurred after the church’s Sunday morning service around 11 a.m.
State Secretary of Government Ahmad Matane confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES but said there was no information yet on the identities of the victims.
But a town resident told PREMIUM TIMES that Sunday service was over but the pastor and some church officials were in a meeting when the armed men invaded and took them away.
The source said the gunmen specifically targeted the church on the outskirts of Gidigori and did not bother to enter the town during the operation.
The incident has caused panic among residents and many are now living in fear, the source added.
Gidigori is part of the larger troubled areas bordering restive Birnin Gwari local government in Kaduna and Zamfara state.
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Officials in Niger said more than 151,380 people, mostly peasants, have been displaced in the state by bandit activities in the past two years.
The displaced were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with the Rafi council area topping the list with 28,987 displaced.
Attacks on vulnerable peasant communities have continued even after the president Muhammadu Buhari ordered the army to respond firmly to the killings and kidnappings committed by bandits in the state of Niger.