Nigeria: Gunmen kidnap high school students in the Northwest

A boarding school in Kaduna State, northwestern Nigeria, was attacked by gunmen on Sunday night. According to a teacher at the school, 140 students were kidnapped, presumably to be exchanged for ransom. This is the third attack in the state in three days.
Gunmen attacked a boarding school in Kaduna State in northwestern Nigeria on Sunday night, kidnapping 140 high school students, presumably to exchange them for ransom, a school official said. The number has not yet been confirmed by the authorities.
A total of 165 students were sleeping at Bethel Secondary School in the town of Chikun, but “the attackers took 140 students with them, 25 managed to escape,” said Emmanuel Paul, a teacher at the school.
“The gunmen climbed the fence to enter the school,” he reported, stressing that “everything indicates that they arrived on foot. This is the third major attack in Kaduna in the past three days. On Sunday, at least eight employees of a hospital in the state were kidnapped, according to the police, although local sources say 15 people were abducted, including two nurses and their baby.
Seven people were also killed Sunday night in sporadic attacks in nearby communities, said Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna government’s security officer.
Criminal groups, commonly referred to as “bandits” by the authorities, are terrorizing people in northwestern and central Nigeria. They attack villages, steal livestock, and kidnap local officials and travelers for ransom on the roads. They operate from camps in the Rugu forest, which spans the Nigerian states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger.