Monday, July 15 2024

Nigeria: Armed Muslim extremists kidnap 287 children from their school

nigeria gunmen

Security forces are searching large forests in Nigeria’s northwest region for nearly 300 children who were abducted from their school while the attacks against the non-muslim population in Africa are escalating.

HDN Newsroom

Gunmen have attacked a school in Nigeria’s north-west region seizing at least 287 pupils, in the second mass abduction in the West African nation in less than a week.

Authorities had said earlier that more than 100 pupils were taken hostage in the attack. But Sani Abdullahi, the headteacher, told Kaduna governor Uba Sani when he visited the town on Thursday that the total number of those missing after a headcount was 287. “We will ensure that every child will come back. We are working with the security agencies,” the governor told the villagers.

Abductions of students from schools in northern Nigeria are common and have become a source of concern since 2014, when Islamic extremists kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in Borno state’s Chibok village. In recent years, the abductions have been concentrated in north-western and central regions, where dozens of armed groups often target villagers and travelers for huge ransoms.

The assailants stormed a government primary school in Chikun’s Kuriga town shortly after morning assembly at 8am, taking almost 200 pupils hostage before any help could come, said Joshua Madami, a local youth leader.

Security forces and a government delegation arrived in the town several hours later as a search operation widened, while community members and parents gathered to wait for news.

“The government is trying everything possible with the security agencies to see how we can rescue them,” said Musa, the council chairman.

The attack occurred days after more than 200 people, mostly women and children, were abducted by extremists in north-eastern Nigeria.

Women, children and students are often targeted in the mass abductions in the conflict-hit northern region, and many victims are released only after paying huge ransoms.