(The AEGIS Alliance) – Gunmen believed to belong to a criminal gang have kidnapped hundreds of schoolboys from their hostels together with some teachers in central Nigeria, according to what an official and a security source told Agence France-Presse Wednesday.
The attackers, wearing military uniforms, stormed the Government Science College in “huge numbers” in the city of Kagara in Niger state late on Tuesday, herding the students into a close-by forest, the sources stated.
The state’s governor’s spokesperson informed Reuters the facility involved was a secondary school.
One student was killed in the course of the kidnapping, the official mentioned.
Northwest and central Nigeria have more and more been targeted by criminal gangs recognized regionally as “bandits” who kidnap for ransom, rape, and pillage throughout the area.
“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” an official stated who requested to not be identified because of the sensitivity of the problem.
“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official added.
The school has about 1,000 students, however, it wasn’t immediately clear what number had been abducted.
The security source confirmed the details of the assault and mentioned a headcount was underway.
Troops with aerial support have been monitoring the bandits for potential rescue, the security source stated.
The Niger kidnapping came two months after hundreds of schoolboys had been kidnapped in northwestern Katsina state, then released days later following negotiations with the government.
The gangs, who’re driven by monetary motives, don’t have any ideological leanings but security officials worry they’re being infiltrated by jihadists from Nigeria’s northeast, the place the army is battling a decade-long Islamist insurgency.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.