Terrorists in Nigeria kidnapped more than hundread schoolchildren
Gunmen kidnapped more than 100 students from an Islamic school in Nigeria on Sunday, local officials said, the latest in a rising tide of high-school abductions across Africa’s most populous nation, where kidnapping schoolchildren for ransom has become a lucrative industry.
Authorities in Niger state confirmed that armed men traveling on around 70 motorcycles arrived at the Salihu Tanko School in the town of Tegina Sunday afternoon and began shooting, before forcing the students to walk toward the forest at gunpoint.
At least one person was killed, the officials said. One teacher estimated that 150 students were missing, while other reports put the figure at closer to 200. Later on Sunday, 11 children between 4 and 6 years old were recovered by authorities and said the gunmen released them because they were unable to keep walking and were slowing the convoy down.
“We were driving towards the school at the time of the kidnap but had to turn back because there was too much gunfire…We thought we’d get shot,” said Mohammed Idris, an eyewitness from Tegina.
Local officials said on Monday they were driving from house to house to try to ascertain the number of missing.
The kidnap-for-ransom business is booming across northern Nigeria, and schoolchildren are its hottest commodity.