Hundreds of Nigerian Students Abducted, Residents Say

LAGOS, Nigeria — Hundreds of girls were missing after a large group of gunmen raided a school in Nigeria early Friday morning, residents...


LAGOS, Nigeria — Hundreds of girls were missing after a large group of gunmen raided a school in Nigeria early Friday morning, residents said, the latest mass abduction of schoolchildren in the northern part of the country.

One resident, Musa Mustapha, said the gunmen also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint, preventing soldiers from intervening while the gunmen spent several hours at the Government Secondary Jangebe School in Zamfara state. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

Several large groups of armed men, described by the government as bandits, operate in Zamfara, where they have established a reputation for kidnapping in exchange for money and for the release of their members from jail.

“We are angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, Unicef representative in the country. “This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through.” He called for their immediate release.

The West African nation has been the site of several such attacks and kidnappings over the years, notably the mass abduction in April 2014 by the jihadist group Boko Haram of 276 girls from the secondary school in Chibok in Borno state. More than 100 of the girls are still missing.

The attack on Friday came less than two weeks after gunmen abducted 42 people, including 27 students, from the Government Science College Kagara in Niger state. The students, teachers and family members are still being held.

In December, 344 students were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara in Katsina state. They were eventually released.

Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch, referring to the recent abductions, wrote on Twitter that “Strong action is required from the authorities to turn the tide & keep schools safe.”



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Newsrust - US Top News: Hundreds of Nigerian Students Abducted, Residents Say
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