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Catholic priest kidnapped in northern Nigeria, diocese says

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - A Nigerian priest was kidnapped from his home in northern Kaduna state, the local Roman Catholic diocese said in a statement on Tuesday, in the first such reported abduction of a clergyman in the state since July.

Armed gangs are rife across northern Nigeria where they rob or kidnap for ransom, and violence has been increasing, where thinly stretched security forces often fail to stop the attacks.

Father Christian Okewu Emmanuel, the chancellor for Kaduna Catholic diocese, said Reverend Father Abraham Kunat, a parish priest in Idon Gida village, was abducted from a home he was staying in in another town, after leaving his parish due to insecurity.

Kaduna police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Garba Muhammad; writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe; editing by Jonathan Oatis)