Armed men kidnap 15 children while they were sleeping in a school in Nigeria

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Gunmen stormed a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria early Saturday and took 15 children as they slept, police told The Associated Press, about 48 hours after nearly 300 students were taken hostage in the conflict-hit region.

School kidnappings are common in the northern region of Nigeria, especially since the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Islamic extremists in the village of Chibok, Borno State, which shocked the world.

Since then, armed gangs have targeted schools for kidnapping ransom, resulting in at least 1,400 people being kidnapped since then.

Police said that the gunmen in the latest attack stormed Gidan Bakuso village in the Gada Council area of ​​Sokoto State at around 1am local time.

Gunmen stormed a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria early Saturday and detained 15 children as they slept, police told The Associated Press. AP

Ahmed Rufai, Sokoto police spokesman, told the AP that they went to the Islamic school where they detained the children from their hostel before security forces could arrive.

Al-Rifai said that a woman was also kidnapped from the village, adding that a police tactical team had been deployed to search for the students.

He pointed out that the difficulty of accessing roads in the area posed a challenge to the rescue operation, adding: “It is a remote village and vehicles cannot reach it; They (the police team) had to use motorcycles to reach the village.”

Saturday's attack was the third mass kidnapping in northern Nigeria since late last week, when suspected extremists kidnapped more than 200 people, most of them women and children, in Borno state.

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On Thursday, 287 students were also taken hostage from a government primary and secondary school in Kaduna State.

School kidnappings are common in the northern region of Nigeria, especially since the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Islamic extremists in the village of Chibok, Borno State, which shocked the world. AP
Since then, armed gangs have targeted schools for kidnapping ransom, resulting in at least 1,400 people being kidnapped since then. AP

The attacks once again highlight the security crisis afflicting Africa's most populous country. Kidnappings for ransom have become lucrative across the northern region of Nigeria, where dozens of armed gangs operate.

No group has claimed responsibility for any of the kidnappings.

While Islamic extremists waging an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria are suspected of carrying out the kidnapping in Borno State, locals have blamed the school kidnappings on herdsmen who were in conflict with their host communities before taking up arms.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Vice President Kashim Shettima met with authorities and some parents of the kidnapped students in Kaduna State on Saturday and assured them of the efforts being made by the security forces to find and rescue the children.




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