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Gunmen kidnap “hundreds” of schoolboys in central Nigeria, sources say

Gunmen believed to belong to a prison gang have kidnapped a whole lot of schoolboys from their hostels together with some academics in central Nigeria, an official and a safety supply informed Agence France-Presse Wednesday.

The attackers, sporting army uniforms, stormed the Authorities Science School in “large numbers” within the city of Kagara in Niger state late on Tuesday, herding the scholars into a close-by forest, the sources mentioned.

The state’s governor’s spokesperson informed Reuters the power concerned was a secondary faculty. 

One scholar was killed through the kidnapping, the official mentioned.

Northwest and central Nigeria have more and more been focused by prison gangs identified domestically as “bandits” who kidnap for ransom, rape and pillage throughout the area.

“Bandits went into GSC Kagara final evening and kidnapped a whole lot of scholars and their academics,” mentioned an official who requested to not be recognized as a result of sensitivity of the problem.

“One of many kidnapped employees and a few college students managed to flee. The employees confirmed a scholar was shot lifeless through the kidnap operation,” the official mentioned.

The varsity has round 1,000 college students nevertheless it wasn’t instantly clear what number of have been taken.

The safety supply confirmed the main points of the assault and mentioned a headcount was underneath method.

Troops with aerial assist have been monitoring the bandits for potential rescue, the safety supply mentioned.

The Niger kidnapping got here two months after a whole lot of schoolboys have been kidnapped in northwestern Katsina state, then released days later following negotiations with the federal government.

The gangs, who’re pushed by monetary motives, haven’t any ideological leanings however safety officers concern they’re being infiltrated by jihadists from Nigeria’s northeast, the place the military is battling a decade-long Islamist insurgency.

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