Hundreds of Nigerian students are feared missing in Nigeria after gunmen raided a secondary school in the northern state of Katsina at around 9:40 p.m. on Friday. Gunfire was reported, allegedly AK-47 rifles into the air after which students were rounded up, the police in Katsina said. The military later exchanged fire with the attackers in the forest.
Hundreds of students kidnapped in Nigeria after gunmen stormed a secondary school in the northern state of Katsina, news agencies and the Nigerian authorities confirmed. It was equivocal of how many students had been kidnapped. Witnesses and officials have estimated that the school typically holds 800 to 1,200 students. More than 200 students of which were abducted – were rescued, Isah Gambo, a police spokesman, said Saturday in an official statement.
The education commissioner intoned for all State Schools in Katsina to remain close owing to the reason that officials were unclear and did not know the attackers’ motives.
But about 400 students remained astray, a parent and a school employee told the Reuters News Agency, and the involving authorities, including the army and air force, were working to get the missing students back.
The attack, as a matter of fact, was met with resistance by the Police, which allowed some students to scale the fence off the school and run for safety and ‘forced the fanatics to retreat into the forest,’ Mr. Gambo professed.
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The military tracked the attackers and exchanged gunfire with them in a forest in Kankara – Garba Shehu, a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, commented on Saturday.
No student casualties, so far, have been reported, although one officer was shot during the attackers’ raid on Friday and was immediately taken to hospital, the police grieved.
As of now, it is not upfront clear who was behind the attack. Some witnesses said the gunmen were Fulani, a nomadic ethnic group in Nigeria, but the authorities have not verified those attestations.
But the attack, reminiscent of the 2014 kidnapping of schoolgirls and was so close to the execution this month of more than 70 farmers in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram militants, agitated Nigerians who indicted the government of not protecting its citizens.
Lead so far…
Hundreds of students kidnapped, of which, Yahaya, 17, told Reuters News Agency he managed to escape on Saturday. He gave only one name for fear of reprisals. He said he sneaked away while the kidnappers transferred students to different locations in the forest.
“We met someone with a motorcycle who brought us to a nearby village,” he said. “From there, someone bought us to Kankara.” He said group leaders told the men not to harm them.
Attacks by armed gangs, more popularly known as bandits, are common throughout northwestern Nigeria. The groups attack civilians, steal and more often than not, kidnap them for ransom. Islamist militants are more common in the northeast.
The augmenting outrage with the precarious security situation in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has snowballed incontestably. Late last month, Islamist militants killed scores of farmers in northeastern Borno, beheading some of them.
The parents conglomerated begging authorities to save hundreds of boys abducted by gunmen.
“From yesterday I was here, praying that the Almighty Allah should rescue our people,” Abubakar Lawal, a parent among many, reeled off outside the dusty school grounds.