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By Godfrey Olukya   16-10-2012

 

Police in Niger is hunting for gunmen who last Sunday abducted five aid workers and a driver in Niger.

Officials in Niger said that since their country share border with troubled Mali and Nigeria where Al-Qaeda’s regional branch has carried out several kidnappings in the past,it is not surprising that they have now started doing the same inside their country.

Niger Police officer, Nuhu Daoda said, ‘The six people were abducted  in Dakoro, a village in southeastern Niger near the border with Mali. Five of the abducted are aid workers. The sixth abducted person is a Chadian driver.’

Dakoro local official, Abou Mahamane said that such  abductions have been rare in their area but they have been hearing about them taking place in neighboring Mali.

He said that according to information they have gathered, those who carried out the abductions were speaking fluent Arabic and they looked like Arabs.

A local newspaper  in Niger  quoted a humanitarian organization source saying ‘The aid workers were kidnapped by men with pale skin and one with black skin, speaking Arabic. The Chadian driver tried to resist and was injured but he was still taken away.’

Among those abducted were a  doctor and a nurse employed by the local aid group called Befen. Befen reportedly specializes in  fighting against malnutrition amongst children.

Police said that it is pursuing the kidnappers in  the desert region of Agadez, where they reportedly moved with the people the kidnapped.

Dakoro residents are now living in panic fearing that gunmen will attack them and probably kill some of them. They have appealed to government to send them more policemen to guard them against the gunmen.

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