Nurses, a one-year-old baby and children under three are among eight people kidnapped by gunmen at Nigerian hospital
- Gunmen in Zaria attacked the local police station to prevent them from stopping the kidnapping
- No ransom demands have been made so far according to the police and hospital authorities
- The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre hospital has already endured two recent kidnappings
- Armed attacks and kidnappings for ransom have become endemic in northern Nigeria
Gunmen kidnapped a nurse’s one-year-old child along with up to seven other people from a hospital’s staff residential quarters in Nigeria yesterday.
The kidnap took place in Zaria in the state of Kaduna, which has been hit by a wave of armed kidnappings in recent months.
Assailants also attacked a nearby police station at the time of the kidnapping to prevent officers from stopping the abduction at the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre hospital.
The hospital has confirmed the kidnapping of six people including the one-year-old, her mother, one other nurse and three other staff members, while police put the number of hostages at eight.
So far no ransom demands have been made according to the police and the hospital authorities.
Up to eight people have been kidnapped from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre hospital in Zaria, Nigeria. The hospital has already endured three previous kidnapping attempts
‘We have not heard from the bandits since they took them away,’ said hospital spokesperson Maryam Abdulrazaq.
The hospital has already endured two previous kidnappings.
Kaduna police spokesman Muhammed Jalige said that a ‘large number’ of armed men from the same group simultaneously attacked the divisional police headquarters ‘to overrun the officers on duty’.
Jalige said police repelled the attack, but testimonies from residents said the police were forced to flee after enduring heavy fire.
Officers from tactical, anti-kidnapping and other units are working to rescue those kidnapped from the hospital according to the police spokesperson’s statement.
Kidnappings for ransom have become endemic in northern Nigeria.
Criminal groups, known as ‘bandits’ by the authorities, have carried out increasing numbers of attacks to kidnap people for ransom while ransacking villages and stealing cattle.
Schools and universities have been hit particularly hard, with mass abductions of students becoming a regular occurrence.
More than 800 students have been abducted since December, at least 150 of whom remain missing.
Last month, armed attackers abducted 80 students and killed a police officer at a college in Kebbi State, Nigeria.
There has been a spate of attacks in recent months against schools and universities, with mass abductions of students from their dormitories for ransom. More than 800 students have been abducted since December, at least 150 of whom remain missing