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Two Catholic priests abducted in Nigeria, diocese says

The priests were abducted in the town of Lere. [iStockphoto]

Two Nigerian Catholic priests have been abducted in Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna, the local diocese said, nearly two weeks after another priest was taken from his parish in the same state.

Fathers John Mark Cheitnum and Donatus Cleopas were abducted in the town of Lere after they arrived for a parish function at Christ the King Catholic Church, Yadin Garu, the diocese said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the abduction.

Kidnappers abducted another priest from his rectory in Kaduna state earlier this month while parishioners were waiting for him to conduct the morning mass, the local diocese said.

Armed gangs are rife across Nigeria's northwest where they rob or kidnap for ransom, and violence has been increasing.

Stretched security forces often fail to stop the attacks.