“More than 300 girls are still missing,” Sadi Kawaye, who teaches at a school in the village of Jangebe in the Nigerian state of Zamfara, told AFP.
According to one of the inhabitants of Musa Mustapha, the attackers also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint to prevent the soldiers from intervening at the school, where they raged for several hours. Several large armed groups attacked. It is not yet known whether their attack claimed casualties.
“We are outraged and saddened by another attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, a representative of the UN Children’s Fund in the country.
They will probably ask for a ransom
According to the government, bandits, known for abducting children, attacked to obtain ransom or secure the release of their imprisoned companions. The police are already searching for the abductees and are cooperating with the army.
Unnamed officials told Reuters that the increase in the number of kidnappings was related to the generous ransom paid by the government for the release of the hostages, even though it denied it.
In northern Nigeria, the security situation has deteriorated due to armed militias. The Jangeba kidnapping is second in less than two weeks. Unidentified gunmen killed a student and abducted 42 people, including 27 schoolchildren, during a night attack on a boarding school in Kagara in the Nigerian state of Niger last week. They haven’t been released yet. In December, 344 students were abducted from a school in Kankara, Katsina State.
Previously, the kidnappings in Nigeria were mainly due to fighters from the jihadist militia Boko Haram, which abducted 276 girls from Chibok in April 2014. One hundred of them are still missing. But now this tactic is increasingly being used by other armed groups, including bandits. However, the Boko Haram group joined the attack in Katsina.