At least 187 villagers who were reportedly kidnapped by criminal gangs have been rescued by police in north-west Nigeria.

Police spokesman Mohammed Shehu in a statement revealed that the 187 rescued hostages, including women and children, had spent weeks in captivity.

He said his outfit and other security agencies have been carrying out assaults on identified bandits’ locations in different parts of the state to rid the state of all activities of recalcitrant bandits and other criminal elements.

In attempt to clamp down on violence, the government last month shut down telecoms’ services in Zamfara and other states.

It would be recalled that military announced that it had “neutralized” nearly 300 criminals during the security operations but that has not yet stop the violence.

The gangs have kidnapped hundreds of schoolchildren in mass abductions since December.