At least 73 students have been kidnapped from a state-run highschool in Zamfara’s Maradun district, native police mentioned in a press release, including that the highschool was focused by “armed bandits.”
“The abduction followed the invasion of the school by a large number of armed bandits,” in line with Zamfara State Police Command.
“A search and rescue team has been deployed to work with the military to locate and rescue the abducted children… Security has also been beefed up at Kaya Village and environ to forestall further attacks on the communities,” the assertion added.
Zamfara’s Information Commissioner, Ibrahim Dosara, advised CNN on Thursday that colleges in the state have been closed right down to keep away from additional assaults.
“We have closed primary and secondary schools in the state,” Dosara mentioned, including “but schools currently writing examinations are asked to stay behind until they finish their examinations… Heavy security presence will be provided to protect those writing exams.”
Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s consultant in Nigeria advised CNN the Zamfara kidnapping “highlights the fragility of education and security” in the state.
“The bandits have reached a stage now where all schools in Zamfara state have been closed down through their actions. The impact this will have on children who want to learn will be profound — not only on those 73 children whose lives are at stake for purposes of extortion, but for all children in Zamfara who are prevented from being able to go to school and learn,” mentioned Hawkins, who added that an estimated 1.3 million Nigerian kids have been affected by frequent raids on colleges by gunmen.
Kidnapping for ransom has change into one of the most important safety challenges in Nigeria, with Zamfara and different neighbouring northwestern states being hit with a number of mass kidnappings this yr.
“The children abducted are in serious risk of being harmed. Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety,” Amnesty added.