Four hundred Nigerian students have disappeared after bandits armed with motorcycles raided their school in the latest “mass kidnapping” to hit the country plagued by Islamist militants.
The gunmen, who carried assault rifles, attacked the Government Science secondary school in Katsina state in northwestern Nigeria on Friday evening, police said. Hundreds of students were missing, according to two local people.
Bandits stormed the Kankara district school at around 9.40 p.m., and police at the scene responded, allowing some students to run to safety, police spokesman Gambo said. Isah in a statement.
A person walks to Government Science Secondary School in Katsina State, northwestern Nigeria, on December 12 after being attacked by bandits armed with motorcycles.
View of a classroom at Government Science High School in Kankara District after the attack. The bandits stormed the school around 9:40 p.m.
Police said they were working with the military and air force to determine how many students were missing or kidnapped and to find them. An officer was shot and wounded in a shootout with the gang, they said.
A school source told a local newspaper, This Day Live, that the bandits were riding motorcycles.
He added: “They kidnapped a lot of our students who were inside their hostels. I can’t say how many people were kidnapped, but they left with many students.
‘As we speak this morning [Saturday], our remaining students have left school and their parents are here with us trying to find out where they are.
Former Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar tweeted earlier today: “My thoughts and prayers are with the abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. “
There were chaotic scenes at the school on Saturday as desperate parents and security personnel gathered to search for around half of the school’s 800 students who were still missing, a parent and employee said. from school.
A schoolbag is pictured inside a classroom at Government Science Secondary School in Katsina State, northwestern Nigeria. The gunmen carried assault rifles, police said
School pictured after being attacked by bandits. Police said they were working with the military and air force to determine how many students were missing or kidnapped and to locate them.
Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, is plagued by violent bandits who regularly attack residents and kidnap them for ransom. Attacks by Islamist militants are common in the northeast of the country.
Violence and insecurity across Nigeria angered citizens, especially after scores of farmers were killed, some beheaded, by Islamist militants in northeast Borno State at the end of the war. last month.
Buhari, who arrived for a week in his home village some 200 km (125 miles) from Kankara on Friday, was due to brief the National Assembly on the security situation last week, but canceled the appearance without an official explanation.
People walk to the school in the Kankara neighborhood, after being attacked by armed bandits. Desperate parents and security personnel gathered to search on Saturday
In February 2018, 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped in northeast Nigeria, and 101 students were returned to Dapchi town more than a month later after negotiations between the Nigerian government and the militant group affiliated with the Islamic State.
After liberation, Boko Haram issued a ominous warning to parents of schoolgirls, warning: “Never put your daughters back to school.”
The Nigerian government previously said no ransom was paid in the statement.
A similar kidnapping also took place in Chibok in April 2014, when more than 200 girls were kidnapped.