Gunmen abduct nearly 300 students from Nigeria school — headteacher

Gunmen have attacked a primary school in Nigeria’s northwest region and abducted at least 287 students, according to the headteacher of the school, marking 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 Thursday morning attack.

Sani Abdullahi, the headteacher, however, told Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani when he visited the town 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,” Sani told the villagers.

The assailants stormed a government primary school in Chikun’s Kuriga town shortly after morning assembly at 8 am, 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 attack occurred days after more than 200 people, mostly women and children, were abducted by gunmen in northeastern Nigeria.

Reminder of worsening security crisis

Observers say both attacks are a reminder of Nigeria’s worsening security crisis which resulted in the deaths of several hundred people in 2023, according to an AP analysis.

Abductions of students from schools in northern Nigeria are common and have become a source of concern since 2014 when militants kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Borno state’s Chibok village.

In recent years, the abductions have been concentrated in northwestern and central regions, where dozens of armed groups often target villagers and travellers for huge ransoms.

Women, children and students are often targeted in the mass abductions.



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