One of the six sisters abducted in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, over a week ago has reportedly died in captivity, sparking outrage in the country.
Unknown gunmen invaded the residence of the family in the Bwari area of Abuja and shot three police officers before kidnapping the sisters and their father.
One of the sisters, identified as Nabeehah, a university student, was reportedly killed by the abductors on Friday night after the family failed to pay a ransom of $63,000 (£50,000).
A relative who has been involved in rescue efforts told Daily Trust news website that the kidnappers have handed over Nabeehah’s body to the family.
The abductors warned that they would kill the rest of the siblings if the ransom, which they have increased to $104,000, would not be paid by Wednesday, the relative said.
Two of the three injured policemen hit by bullets during the kidnap have also reportedly died.
Police said “all hands are on deck” to rescue the victims, without confirming Nabeehah’s reported murder.
Opposition leader Atiku Abubakar has said Nabeehah’s killing “is yet another reminder that kidnappers and bandits are operating unhindered in our country,” and called for the country’s security architecture to be “rejigged”.
Peter Obi, leader of the opposition Labour Party, says the kidnapping in the country’s capital “is a clear pointer to how insecure the rest of the country now is”.