The mass kidnapping of students from their schools is becoming a norm in Nigeria, particularly in the northern part of the country.
The country has witnessed at least 11 cases of kidnapping of pupils and students from their schools since 2014. Over 700 students and pupils have been kidnapped since December, 2020.
Just before sunset on Thursday, gunmen attacked the Federal Government College Birnin-Yauri, a secondary school in Kebbi State, and abducted dozens of students from their dormitories.
The armed bandits killed a police officer and kidnapped at least 80 students and five teachers during the attack.
Three of the students are dead, according to the BBC Hausa. Security forces continued their search and, by Sunday morning, authorities were still counting the missing.
Less than a quarter of the kidnapped students have since been freed by security operatives in shootouts with the bandits.
The latest attack occurred just over three weeks after 169 students were abducted by armed bandits from an Islamic school in Niger State. Those abducted pupils are yet to be released at the time of this report.
More than 700 students have been kidnapped by bandits since December, forcing some states to shut down schools.
The scourge has spread since the abduction of more than 300 boys from a boarding school in Kankara, Katsina State, last December.
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Two months later, gunmen raided another school – this time in Niger State – taking 27 students into their hideouts.
Then in late February, bandits forced 317 girls from a school in Zamfara State, firing into the air for over two hours as they raided the village, residents said at the time.
Leakblast had reported how the breakdown of security in the North-west and North-central regions of the country has led to a surge in kidnapping and banditry.
Armed bandits have taken advantage of an ineffective government and weak security presence to continue their reign of terror on villages and schools.
These criminal gangs maintain camps in various forests, including the Rugu forest, which links Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states. From their hideouts, they organise raids on rural communities, schools, homes and Nigeria’s road networks.
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