Gunmen kidnap over 40 from school in Nigeria

18 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

KANO: Gunmen believed to members of a criminal gang stormed a school in central Nigeria, killing one student and kidnapping dozens of other pupils, teachers and relatives, a government official said on Wednesday, reports AFP.

President Muhammadu Buhari, responding to the latest abduction attack at a Nigerian school, ordered security forces to coordinate a rescue operation, his office said.

Forty-two people were seized when gunmen dressed in military uniforms raided the Government Science College (GSC) in the town of Kagara in Niger state before hauling the kidnap victims into a nearby forest.

The new tally came after initial reports from a government official and a security source that hundreds of students were snatched from the school, where they were staying in dormitories.

“They kidnapped 42 people from the school. They took away 27 students, along with three teachers. One student was killed. They also kidnapped 12 family members of the teachers,” Muhammad Sani Idris, spokesman for Niger state’s government, told AFP by phone.

He said 650 students had been in the school when it was attacked late Tuesday.

Heavily-armed gangs known locally as “bandits” in northwest and central Nigeria have stepped up attacks in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging. President Buhari, 78, condemned the abduction and ordered security forces to coordinate an operation to rescue the students.

“The President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure immediate and safe return of all the captives,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement without giving details on the number of missing.