Nigerian State Says 337 Students Missing After Gunmen Attack

At least 337 students are still missing after gunmen in Nigeria attacked a boys’ boarding school in the northern state of Katsina, an official said.

So far, 446 students are accounted for and reunited with their parents following the Friday attack, Abdu Labaran, a spokesman for Katsina Governor Aminu Masari, said by phone. A total of 258 parents were contacted and they confirmed that their children hadn’t returned home, he said.

Armed assailants arrived in the town of Kankara during the night of Dec. 11 and opened fire before entering the boys’ school, causing students and staff to flee. An unknown number of students were said to have been abducted by the attackers, with 337 unaccounted for.

“The kidnappers had made contact and discussions were already on pertaining to safety and return to their homes” according to an emailed statement from the Presidency on Monday.

Katsina is the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari whose administration is struggling to contain widespread insecurity across swathes of northern and central Nigeria. Buhari arrived in his hometown of Daura for a week’s private visit on the same day the school was invaded.

The latest incident adds to previous school attacks in northern Nigeria, including the 2014 attack on a school in the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014 during which 276 schoolgirls were seized. Boko Haram Islamist insurgents claimed the attack and another in 2018 in the northern town of Dapchi in which at least 110 girls were kidnapped.

The latest attack happened in a region in which armed groups with no obvious affiliation have been active in recent years.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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