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Over 280 school Children abducted in Kuriga, North Western Nigeria 

Over 280 school Children abducted in Kuriga, North Western Nigeria 

Officials in Nigeria have confirmed the abduction of more than 280 school children by bandits in the rural town of Kuriga, in Kaduna state, the North Western area of Nigeria.

The pupils, ages of eight and 15, said to be in the school assembly ground around 08:30 am when gunmen on motorcycles stormed the school and abducted them. One teacher was reportedly abducted along with the children.

Confirming the mass abduction, Uba Sani, the governor of Kaduna state, said 187 students had gone missing from a secondary school and 125 from the local primary school but that 25 had since returned.

Over 280 school Children abducted in Kuriga, North Western Nigeria 
Over 280 School Children Abducted In Kuriga, North Western Nigeria  7

The national government said it was “confident that the victims will be rescued”.

One pupil, believed to be 14-years-old, who had been shot by the gunmen and was being treated in hospital, has since died.

A teacher who managed to escape said local people had tried to rescue the children, but they were repelled by the gunmen and one person was killed in the shootout.

Zakariyya Nasiru, who had a brother and sister taken hostage, told the BBC the family were unable to sleep on Thursday night.”All of us couldn’t sleep as we keep thinking about them. We are here praying for their safe return.”Mr Nasiru said one boy had escaped last night and had brought back harrowing reports of their conditions, including a lack of food.

Almost every family in the town is thought to have a child among those kidnapped.

The armed forces have launched an operation to find them. “No child will be left behind,” vowed the governor.

In January, bandits killed a school principal in the area and abducted his wife.

The kidnapping comes days after dozens of women and children were feared kidnapped by the Boko Haram Islamist group while they were collecting firewood in north-eastern Nigeria.

Thursday’s attack has been blamed on Ansaru, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, which kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014. Ansaru controls nearby areas.

No group has said it carried out either of the kidnappings.

Most of the kidnaps in north-west Nigeria, including Kaduna state, are believed to be the work of criminal gangs trying to make money from ransoms.

In an attempt to curb Nigeria’s spiralling and lucrative kidnapping industry, a controversial law that has made it a crime to make ransom payments was passed in 2022. It carries a jail sentence of at least 15 years, however no-one has ever been arrested.

Earlier this year, the family of a group of sisters kidnapped in the capital, Abuja, denied a police statement that the security forces had rescued the girls, saying that they had no choice but to pay the ransom.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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