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Nigerian Authorities Searching For 317 Schoolgirls Kidnapped By Armed Bandits

(The AEGIS Alliance) – Nigerian authorities are looking for hundreds of schoolgirls who have been kidnapped by unidentified armed bandits in an early Friday morning raid, authorities in the northwestern state of Zamfara said.

Police Commissioner Abutu Yaro said to reporters that 317 girls were kidnapped from Government Girls Science Secondary School in the city of Jangebe. Yaro stated efforts to track the abductors and retrieve the students are being carried out, and that authorities have been looking into info that they’d been taken to neighboring forests.

“All of us are angry, and all of us are sad,” Yaro mentioned. “Despite that, we need to have a coordinated response in order to save them and bring the children back home.”

Yaro put an emphasis on the significance of exercising caution and care, he urged folks to stay calm. Scores of residents incensed by the kidnapping stormed the streets of Jangebe, creating roadblocks and utilizing sticks and stones to assault vehicles carrying journalists to the school and injured a cameraman in the course of the attacks.

A police spokesperson said Zamfara State Police Command is cooperating with the military to conduct a joint search and rescue operations for the students, who he stated had been kidnapped by “armed bandits.”

Khadija Abubakar, age 16, was among the abducted.

An unnamed school employee informed that the gunmen, some dawning uniforms and pretending to be security personnel showed up at the school with pickup trucks and motorbikes at about 1 a.m. local time on Friday, then “broke into the students’ hostels” and “forcefully evacuated” the girls.

“When they came into the school, we thought they were security personnel but to our utmost fear and dismay, they started putting the girls into Hilux vehicles and motorcycles then drove out of the school,” the employee said.

The armed kidnappers fired sporadically throughout the raid, Zamfara’s information minister said to Reuters.

It’s the most recent in a string of abductions in northern Nigeria and comes just over a week after unidentified gunmen kidnapped 42 people at a boarding school and hundreds of schoolboys in the north-central state of Niger in an assault that killed one student. In December, the northwestern state of Katsina noticed two mass kidnappings just eight days apart.

In a statement issued Friday condemning the assault, UNICEF’s Nigeria representative Peter Hawkins acknowledged the Nigerian authorities’ efforts to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls and a call for all who are concerned to make schools safer.

“This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being,” Hawkins stated.

Amnesty International tweeted that the kidnapping is a “serious violation of international humanitarian law” that undermines the right to education for thousands of students within the area. It stated the kidnapped students are at “serious risk of being harmed,” and called on authorities to take all measures to make sure of their safe return, together with that of all college students still within the custody of armed militias.

Most notoriously, some 100 of over 270 schoolgirls kidnapped by militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2014 are still missing.

Amnesty International tweeted about the kidnapping:

Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.

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