Gunmen kidnap 'hundreds' of boys from school in Nigeria

Gunmen kidnap ‘hundreds’ of boys from school in Nigeria

  • Armed men raided the Government Science College in Kagara, Niger state 
  • ‘Bandits’ wearing military uniforms seized the children and overwhelmed guards
  • It comes two months after 300 boys were kidnapped from another school
  • Nigeria’s north is fighting insurrection led by Islamist terror group Boko Haram

Gunmen have kidnapped hundreds of schoolboys in Nigeria, security sources said today.

Armed men raided the Government Science College at around 3am local time in Kagara, Niger state, in the country’s terror-ravaged north.

Secretary to Niger state government Ibrahim Matane confirmed that ‘bandits’ wearing military uniforms had stormed the school and overwhelmed security guards to kidnap the children.

It comes just two months after Islamist terror faction Boko Haram took more than 300 boys from a boarding school in Katsina state.

A school bag left inside a classroom after more than 300 boys were abducted from a school in northern Katsina state in December

The children were freed after a week of being moved around in the forest to hide them from the authorities.

Boko Haram said it kidnapped the boys because to ‘discourage the un-Islamic practices of Western education.’ 

The raid on the school in Katsina state, in the country’s northwest, marked a major turning for the militants who were thought to only have a minor presence in the area.

That assault marked a major turning point in the advance of jihadist groups in northwest Nigeria.  

Boko Haram, and a splinter group the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), are waging an insurgency in the northeast and were thought only to have a minor presence in the northwest.

But concerns have grown of jihadist inroads into the region, especially after fighters claiming to be in the northwest released a 2020 propaganda video pledging allegiance to Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Boko Haram terror chief Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the schoolboys from Katsina state

President Muhammadu Buhari has made the fight against the group a priority, but the security situation in northern Nigeria has deteriorated since his 2015 election.

The recent spate of abductions comes six years after more than 270 girls were taken from a school in Chibok, Borno state.

Only 164 have escaped, been freed or rescued.  

That leaves another 112 still unaccounted for, their parents still desperately seeking answers over the fate of their girls.  

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