ABUJA, 18 June 2021, (TON): Police said “armed attackers have killed a police officer and abducted five teachers and an unknown number of students from a school in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kebbi.
The attack took place on the Federal Government College in the remote town of Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State. It is the third assault by armed gangs on a school or college in Nigeria in less than a month which have been attributed by the authorities to bandits seeking ransom payments.
A spokesman for the police in Kebbi State, Nafiu Abubakar, said “one officer had been shot dead during an exchange of fire between the police and the attackers, and a student had also been shot and was receiving medical treatment.”
Abubakar said “we are still trying to ascertain the number of students kidnapped, but five teachers were kidnapped”.
Abubakar further said “security forces were searching a nearby forest for the abducted students and teachers.”
Atiku Aboki, a local resident who went to the school shortly after the gunfire stopped, he saw a scene of panic and confusion as people searched for their children.
He said “when we got there, we saw students crying, teachers crying, everyone is sympathising with people”.
Everyone was confused. Then my brother called me [to say] that his two children have not been seen and [we] don’t know if they are among the kidnapped.
Heavily armed criminal gangs, known locally as bandits, have long targeted central and northwestern states, raiding villages, stealing cattle and kidnapping for ransom.
But they have increasingly targeted schools, snatching students or schoolchildren and herding them into forest hideouts to negotiate ransom payments.
More than 700 children and students have already been kidnapped by these gangs for ransom since December.