Armed men again kidnap large numbers of Nigerian students

Heavily armed men attacked a school in Nigeria again on Sunday and kidnapped a large number of students. The governor of the state of Niger confirms this but could not yet say how many students were taken. It is feared that about 200 students were taken.

Police say “armed thugs on motorcycles” raided the town of Tegina, shooting around haphazardly and abducting an as-yet-unknown number of children from the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya school.

Police are scouring the area in hopes of rescuing the children alive from the clutches of their captors, a police spokesman said. Nigerian media report that the perpetrators would have taken up to 200 children.

The facts occurred in the same area where 27 students were kidnapped in February. One of them was then killed.

Wave of kidnappings

Nigeria has been facing a wave of student kidnappings since April 2014, when the jihadist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from their boarding school in Chibok.

Criminal gangs now also see such kidnappings as a source of income. Lately, it has become commonplace. Since December, more than 700 high school and college students have been kidnapped to demand ransom.

The last 14 students of a group forcibly deported from an educational institution in neighbouring Kaduna state last month were reunited with their families on Saturday. Parents claimed that 180 million naira, was paid for their release. The Nigerian authorities never comment on this.

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