• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Gunmen kidnap 140 school students in Nigeria

  • Published at 11:55 am July 5th, 2021
Girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwest Nigerian state of Zamfara
File photo: Girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwest Nigerian state of Zamfara, look on after their release in Zamfara, Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Reuters

'The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped'

Gunmen have kidnapped 140 students from a boarding school in north-western Nigeria, a school official said on Monday, the latest in a wave of mass abductions targetting schoolchildren and students.

Heavily-armed criminal gangs often attack villages to loot, steal cattle and abduct for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria, but since the start of the year they have increasingly targeted schools and colleges.

The attackers scaled a fence to break into the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state in the early hours of on Monday, taking away most of the 165 pupils boarding there overnight.

"The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped. We still have no idea where the students were taken," Emmanuel Paul, a teacher at the school told AFP.

Kaduna state police spokesman Mohammed Jalige confirmed the Monday morning attack, but he could not give details on the number of pupils taken.

"Tactical police teams went after the kidnappers," he said. "We are still on the rescue mission."

Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.

Bethel Baptist High School is a co-education college established by Baptist church in 1991 at Maramara village in Chikun district outside the state capital Kaduna. Monday's attack was the fourth mass school kidnap in Kaduna state since December.

Kaduna state governor Nasir Ahyesmad El-Rufai has been one of the most vocal local leaders insisting he will refuse to pay ransom money.

Monday's school abduction came just hours after gunmen also snatched eight medical employees from a Kaduna health centre, according to police.

President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general first elected in 2015, has promised to end the scourge of kidnapping and criminal gangs, but the mass abductions are only one challenge facing his government.

Nigeria's security forces have been battling a jihadist insurgency the northeast since 2009, a conflict that has killed around 40,000 people and displaced more than 2 million more.

The criminal gangs, known locally as bandits, operate from camps in the Rugu forest, which cuts across Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna state in Nigeria, as well as Niger.

Most of the gangs are motivated by material gain, although some have sworn allegiance to the jihadist organizations in northeast Nigeria, hundreds of kilometres away.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail