Gunmen abduct 39 students, including girls, from school in northwestern Nigeria

WION Web Team
Lagos, Nigeria Published: Mar 13, 2021, 12:23 PM(IST)

Girls in Nigeria Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The kidnapping took place late Thursday night at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna state. The incident comes just weeks after a similar mass abduction in the region.

Gunmen attacked a school in northwestern Nigeria and kidnapped 39 students, authorities said Friday. Several school staff were also kidnapped.

The kidnapping took place late Thursday night at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna state. The incident comes just weeks after a similar mass abduction in the region.

"The number of missing students is now confirmed to be 39, comprising 23 females and 16 males," Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, said in a statement.

The attack was reportedly carried out by a large group of "armed bandits." 

Aruwan said the military engaged the attackers and were able to take 180 staff and students to safety.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, has strongly condemned the abduction and called for the immediate and unconditional release of those students that remain in captivity.

Nigerian authorities also said that "bandits" were behind the earlier abduction of 279 schoolgirls late last month in the region. Those girls were later freed following negotiations with the government.

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is also known to kidnap young women and force them into marriage, most notably in the 2014 attack on the Chibok secondary school in Borno state. 

Of the 276 girls taken, more than 100 are still missing nearly seven years later. 

(with inputs from agencies)

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