Gunmen have kidnapped over 300 schoolgirls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata Mafara Local Government area of Zamfara State. The gunmen, believed to be bandits, struck the school on Friday morning. They were said to have arrived the school around 1am and loaded the girls in buses.
A resident in Kawaye village identified as Seidu Muhammadu who confirmed the development said his daughters, Mansura and Sakina were among those abducted.
“I’m on my way to Jangebe now to see the situation myself. I was told they invaded the school around 1am,” he said.
A source said the bandits, some whom appeared like security agents, were in the school for a long time without being challenged by any security outfit.
A man whose two daughters attend the school corroborated the teacher’s accounts. Sadi Kawaye said he had been told that the school was “invaded by bandits”.
Of 421 students in the school at the time, only 55 remain, another teacher told the BBC. The attack is thought to have happened around 1.00am (midnight GMT).
A spokesman for the state governor confirmed the kidnapping, but declined to say how many people were taken or provide further details.
A police spokesman for the state did not immediately respond to calls and messages seeking comment.
This is the second such kidnapping in a little over a week in Nigeria’s north, where a surge in armed militancy in the northwest has led to a widespread and worsening breakdown of security.
Just over a week ago one student was killed and 42 people, including 27 students, taken from a boarding school in the north-central Nigerian state of Niger by an unidentified gunmen. The hostages are yet to be released.
Over 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in December in Kankara, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state of Katsina, while he was visiting the region.
The incident triggered global outrage. Following negotiations with government officials the boys were later released.