More than 40 women and children have been abducted in a mosque by bandits at Kwata community, in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning while the victims were holding midnight prayers, known as Tahajjud.
Tahajjud is a special Islamic prayer mostly held during the Ramadan fast and is done after the last night prayer (Isha), and before the early morning prayer (Fajr).
According to sources, the gunmen stormed the mosque in their numbers, armed with sophisticated weapons.
One of the sources said a total of 47 persons, including women and children, were whisked away by the gunmen, ostensibly into the dreaded Rugu forest.
He, however, added that seven persons later returned and may have been voluntarily released by the gunmen.
The council area, located close to the Rugu forest, has experienced intermittent security challenges in recent times.