Image for representation Photograph:( Reuters )
This incident is latest in the spate of abductions targetting schoolchildren
Gunmen kidnapped 140 students from a boarding school on Monday, an official said. The school is located in northwestern Nigeria. This incident is latest in the spate of abductions targetting schoolchildren.
Criminal gangs, heavily-armed, often attack villages to loot, steal cattle and abduct for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria. Since the start of the year, they have increasingly targetted schools and collges.
In the latest incident, the attackers opened fire and overpowered security guards of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state in the early hours of Monday. They abducted most of the 165 pupils boarding there.
"The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped. We still have no idea where the students were taken," Emmanuel Paul, a teacher at the school told AFP.
Kaduna state police spokesman Muhammed Jalige could not give exact number of students abducted.
"Tactical police teams went after the kidnappers," he said. "We are still on the rescue mission."
Police said they had safely rescued 26 people, including a female teacher.
Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in Nigeria since December. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.
Often, gangs target rural schools and colleges where students stay in dormitories and security is light, allowing them to easily transport large numbers of victims to forest hideouts to negotiate ransoms.
(With inputs from agencies)