Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
A damaged classroom at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in northeastern Borno state, where gunmen stormed the town the cover of darkness on April 14, 2014/AFP

Africa

Nigeria gunmen raid school, abduct students

Kano, Nigeria, March 12 – Nigerian gunmen have snatched an unspecified number of students from a college in a northwestern state, local police said Friday, in the latest abduction targeting schools.

The suspected kidnap gang stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando, Kaduna state, around 9:30pm (2030 GMT) on Thursday, shooting indiscriminately and taking students hostage.

The college was said to have some 300 male and female students — mostly aged 17 and older — at the time of the attack, but it was not immediately clear how many were seized or missing.

“There was a kidnapping incident at the forestry college but we have no details of the number of students abducted,” state police spokesman Mohammed Jalige told AFP.

“The police alongside the army are working to trace and rescue the students,” he said.

Heavily-armed gangs in northwest and central Nigeria have stepped up attacks in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging.

The bandits are recently turning their attention on schools where they kidnap students or schoolchildren for ransom — Thursday’s was at least the fourth such attack since December.

Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna state’s home affairs commissioner visited the school early Friday. Confirming the latest abduction, he said an investigation was underway.

Residents also heard repeated gunshots in the area late on Thursday.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“We kept hearing gunshots which we ignored as shooting drills from the Nigeria Defence Academy which is a stone-throw from the forestry college,” said Mustapha Aliyu, who lives in the area.

“It was only when we came out for the morning prayers in the mosque that we learnt it was gunmen who took away students from the  college,” he said.

Aliyu said only female students might have been seized from the college.

“From what other students told us the gunmen only took female students,” said Aliyu.

The area is notorious for banditry and armed robbery, especially along the highway linking the city with the airport.

The gangs are largely driven by financial motives and have no known ideological leanings. Victims are often released shortly after negotiations though officials always deny any ransom payments.

On Saturday, criminal gangs known locally as bandits broke into the staff quarters of the nearby Kaduna airport, abducting 12 people, according to airport officials.

On February 27, gunmen abducted 279 schoolgirls in nearby Zamfara state.

A week earlier, gunmen seized 42 people, including 27 students from an all-boys boarding school in central Niger state.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In December, hundreds of schoolboys were seized in Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state while he was on a visit.

The US has condemned the recent attacks on schools.

“Frankly, we’re disgusted by this pattern of mass abductions of school kids. I can think of nothing more abhorrent,” Michael Gonzales, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs told a press briefing.

He said the US “is ready to provide appropriate support to the Nigerian government if requested to do so.” 

Comments
Advertisement

More on Capital News

World

Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP), Sep 27 – Kremlin-installed authorities in four Ukrainian regions under Russian control claimed victory Tuesday in annexation votes, drawing global outrage,...

World

Havana (AFP), Sep 26 – Powerful Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction after battering western Cuba on Tuesday, while Florida battened down in...

World

Paris (AFP), Sep 24 – Iranians staged a 12th straight night of women-led protests on Tuesday over the death of Mahsa Amini, despite fears...

World

Liverpool (AFP), Sep 27 – Labour leader Keir Starmer Tuesday accused the ruling Conservatives of presiding over “endless” crises as he vowed to steer...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – President William Ruto on Tuesday named his first cabinet after winning a divisive election in August and defending his...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 27 – President William Ruto has named seven women to his 22-member cabinet, which is far short of the 50 percent...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 27 – Former Acting Communications Authority of Kenya Director-General Mercy Wanjau has been nominated as the new Secretary to the Cabinet....

Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya, Sept 27-President William Ruto has nominated former Nairobi County Police boss Japheth Koome to the position of Inspector General of Police. Koome...