A boat carrying mostly women and children capsized in north-central Nigeria on Wednesday, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens missing, Reuters agency reports.
Two residents in Guni village in Niger state said the passengers on the boat were trying to escape from gunmen who had attacked their village in the Munya local government area.
“When we heard information that armed bandits were heading to our village, we immediately put our families on a boat in order to escape. Unfortunately, their boat capsized in the middle of the river,” a resident said.
Gangs known locally as bandits have been terrorising areas of northern Nigeria in recent years, forcing thousands to flee and perpetrating mass kidnappings for ransom.