The abduction of 140 school students is the latest in a series of similar incidents across northwest and central Nigeria. Heavily-armed criminal gangs often attack villages to loot, steal cattle and abduct for ransom in the northwest and central Nigeria, but since the start of the year, they have increasingly targeted schools and colleges. The attackers opened fire and overpowered security guards after storming the Bethel Baptist High School in the early hours of this morning. They abduct most of the 165 pupils who boarding there overnight. This time Gunmen kidnapped 140 students from a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria. “The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped. We still have no idea where the students were taken,” a teacher at the school, Emmanuel Paul, told AFP.
The kidnapping of Nigerian schoolchildren first made international headlines in 2014 when Boko Haram snatched nearly 300 schoolgirls from a rural school in Chibok. Recent abductions by gunmen have prompted six northern states to shut public schools to prevent such attacks. Around a thousand students and pupils have been abducted in Nigeria since December. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials. Often, gangs target rural schools and colleges where students stay in dormitories and security is light. It is the latest that took place in a wave of mass abductions targeting schoolchildren and students. This morning’s attack was the fourth mass school kidnapping in Kaduna state since December. A police spokesman confirmed the early morning attack, but could not give details on the number of pupils taken. “Tactical police teams went after the kidnappers. We are still on the rescue mission,” he said. Police said they had safely rescued 26 people, including a female teacher.