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Armed men suspected to be bandits have kidnapped at least 76 people in Kekun Waje district of Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Daily Trust reports.

In a raid on the community over a month ago, more than 60 people were abducted in a similar attack.

Those abducted in that incident are still in captivity.

Residents said that the criminals have spiked attacks on the community after the local vigilantes stopped them from holding sway.

“The vigilantes defended the community. The criminals warned that unless the vigilantes disarm they won’t the release the kidnapped victims. With the abduction of 15 more people, there are 76 people, including women and children, with them,” a resident identified as Sadiq said.

“They kidnapped 61 people more than one month ago and they returned and abducted additional 15 people and they are now demanding that the vigilantes must disarm before they victims would be released. But the vigilantes in the community frankly told them that they would not lay down their arms and would continue to defend their community.

“We learnt a lesson from some of the neighbouring communities that entered into negotiations at local level with armed criminals. That notwithstanding, the armed men are still attacking them and humiliating their women.

“These criminals are totally dubious. This is because no matter what agreement you reach with them, they would continue to assault your communities and that was why we took the firm decision of defending our community despite their threat of attacks.”