Nigeria has suspended mining activities in Zamfara and has ordered foreigners engaged in the work to leave the northern state within 48 hours. The move comes after a surge in crime in the state.

The military, police and the state security forces have been deployed in recent weeks to tackle criminal gangs behind a spate of killings and kidnappings.

The government says the suspension begins with immediate effect. Any operators who defy the order will have their licences revoked.

Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris has more from the capital, Abuja.

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