Dozens of people abducted along Nigerian highway

At least 45 people have been abducted by gunmen in the north-western state of Kaduna in less than 48 hours, reports from the area say.

Victims of the latest abductions include women and children, according to road transport union officials in Kaduna State.

They were seized as they travelled on a major highway linking northern Nigeria with the south on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Residents say gunmen stopped vehicles and herded the occupants into the bush in Birnin Gwari area.

There has been an upsurge in kidnappings for ransom in north-western Nigeria recently, with more than 80 people reportedly abducted in the region last week alone.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Zamfara State, police were hunting for the wife and six children of a local politician kidnapped early on Tuesday.

Residents complain Nigerian authorities have not fulfilled their promise of deploying hundreds of soldiers to help them combat attacks by armed bandits.

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