200 students kidnapped and one person killed after a school in Nigeria is ambushed by heavily armed bandits on motorcycles
- Armed bandits kidnapped about 200 students from a school in Tegina, Nigeria
- One person was shot dead and another seriously injured in the attack on Sunday
- Last in a series of armed kidnappings from schools and universities since December
A large number of students were kidnapped on Sunday and one person was murdered at a school in the northern central state of Niger.
Nigerian media outlets, including the independent Channels TV, said about 200 students were kidnapped at the Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Tegina in Rafi’s local administration area.
Niger State Police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun said the kidnapping was carried out by “armed bandits on board motorcycles in their numbers.”
A large number of students were kidnapped from a school in Nigeria on Sunday during the latest armed kidnappings to conquer the country (photo, parents demonstrate on May 4 and demand the release of their children after 55 days of imprisonment)
Armed bandits kidnapped students at Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Tegina, northern central Nigeria
All ‘tactical teams’ have been mobilized to rescue the victims and the police will ‘ensure that the children are rescued unharmed,’ said Niger State Police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun.
The gunmen shot “indiscriminately and kidnapped an undetermined number of children,” he said, adding that the gunmen shot one person in the process.
All ‘tactical teams’ have been mobilized to rescue the victims and the police will ‘ensure that the children are rescued unharmed,’ he said.
The owner of the school, Abubakar Tegina, lives 150 meters from the school and witnessed the attack.
He said: ‘I have personally seen between 20 and 25 motorcycles with heavily armed people. They entered the school and left with about 150 or more of the students,
“We cannot be precise as most of them did not report to the school at the time,” he said when asked for more details on the number recorded.
Tegina said there are about 300 students between the ages of seven and 15. He said students live at home and only attend classes at the site.
The kidnapping was carried out by heavily armed bandits who fired shots ‘indiscriminately’ during the raid (photo, a girl is reunited with her mother after spending a week in captivity after being kidnapped)
The kidnappings have hit northwestern Nigeria in particular, drawing global attention to the country’s deteriorating security situation (photo: police officer organizes students to be released after being kidnapped from boarding school in March)
Most of the students kidnapped in recent months have been taken from boarding schools.
One person was shot dead in the attack and a second person was seriously injured, the governor’s spokeswoman said.
She said 11 of the children taken were released by the gunmen because they were “too small and could not walk.”
A group of bus passengers were also kidnapped, she said.
Sunday’s attack took place the day after the release of the remaining 14 students of a group kidnapped from a university in neighboring Kaduna state last month.
Armed groups carrying out kidnappings for ransom have been blamed for a series of raids on schools and universities in northern Nigeria in recent months, in which more than 700 students have been kidnapped for ransom since December.
The government and security forces have largely failed to stop the attacks as they struggle to stem the growing violence and crime across the West African country.
The government and security forces have largely failed to stop the attacks as they struggle to stem the growing violence and crime across the West African country (photo, President Muhammadu Buhari)
The kidnappings have mainly affected northwestern Nigeria and have drawn global attention to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Ransom kidnapping has become common in the region in recent years.
In February, President Muhammadu Buhari urged governments to “review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the policy could be disastrous.”