Gunmen Kidnap 317 Girls in Northern Nigeria School

Armed men seized at least 317 girls from a high school in northern Nigeria’s Zamfara state, the latest in a string of abductions that illustrate how badly national security has deteriorated under President Muhammadu Buhari‘s watch.

The police are currently on the scene of the incident to ascertain if more students are missing, Abutu Yaro, the head of police unit in the state said by phone.

The gunmen had combed staff quarters and hostels of Jangebe school to choose victims, who they then herded into a forest, local newspaper Daily Trust had earlier reported citing local residents as saying.

The attack is the latest in a string of similar abductions. About 42 people, including 27 students, were kidnapped in the central Niger state last week. That incident followed a similar attack on another school in December, when 344 pupils were taken and released within a week.

This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for them to go through, Peter Hawkins, Unicef representative in Nigeria, said in an emailed statement. It has a long-lasting effect on their mental health and well-being, he said.

Nigeria’s presidency is yet to comment on the attack, the fourth mass school abduction since President Buhari was first elected in 2015.

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