The Nigerian military says it has captured more than 500 illegal guns from citizens in Plateau state, northcentral, Nigeria.
A military officer handed out 517 weapons, including AK-47s, pistols, and locally produced guns, at a ceremony in Jos, the state capital, on Thursday.
They were taken from criminals during the last two years, including armed robbers and groups that have been kidnapping individuals for ransom, according to a military spokeswoman.
Some were seized in Bauchi and Kaduna states, respectively. Several persons were also detained.
According to reports, 6.5 million small arms and light weapons were in circulation in Nigeria last year, with roughly 90% of them in the hands of non-state actors.
Nigerian authorities, on the other hand, say they are currently attempting to recover such weapons from people and control their spread.
Nigeria is battling numerous forms of armed violence, including a deadly insurgency by militant groups including Boko Haram and the ISWAP, as well as an increasing number of murders and kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs known as bandits in the country.
In the last two decades, Plateau state has seen numerous communal disputes as well as gang violence, resulting in thousands of deaths and enormous displacement of people.
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