At least 100 people have been abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s northwest, residents have said.
Locals said armed men on motorcycles stormed villages in Zamfara state.
The residents were kidnapped after the villages failed to pay a “tax” imposed on them by the gunmen, witnesses said.
In recent years, kidnapping for ransom has become rife in north-western Nigeria.
Armed gangs, referred to locally as bandits, target villages, schools, and travellers, demanding millions of naira in ransom.
According to the Reuters news agency, a local village head said one resident was killed in Friday’s attack.
The BBC heard from a resident from the village of Mutunji, who said he was abducted by the gunmen but managed to escape.
“We are trying to collect the money… but suddenly the bandits came in and robbed people. They took more than 100 people – most of them were women and young people,” the resident said.
Locals told the BBC the gunmen’s leader is named “Damana”.
They said Damana controls most of the region in the absence of state security forces.