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Nigerian security forces rescue 187 abducted victims

Lagos, Oct 9 (IANS) Nigerian security forces have rescued 187 abducted victims held by armed bandits in an operation in the country's northwest, police confirmed.

On Friday, Muhammad Shehu, police spokesperson in northwest Nigeria's Zamfara state, told Xinhua news agency the 187 victims were kidnapped from different parts of the state and neighbouring Sokoto state, and were rescued on Thursday in the Tsibiri Forest in Zamfara's Maradun local government area.

"The abducted victims were unconditionally rescued following an extensive search and rescue operation that lasted for hours," Shehu said.

Nigerian security agencies have been carrying out assaults on identified bandits' locations in Zamfara following the implementation of new security measures, with a view to ridding the state of all bandits and other criminal gangs.

Several bandits and their collaborators were arrested during the operation, Shehu added.

The northern part of Africa's most populous country has witnessed a series of attacks by armed groups in recent months, leading to numerous deaths and kidnappings.