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Nigerian gunmen abduct 30 students in college raid

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KANO: Gunmen raided a college in northwestern Nig­eria and kidnapped at least 30 students, government officials and parents said on Friday, in the latest mass abduction targeting a school.

The kidnap gang stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando, Kaduna state, around 9:30pm on Thurs­day, shooting indiscriminately before taking students.

The Kaduna college was said to have some 300 male and female students — mostly aged 17 and older — at the time of the attack.

Kaduna state commissioner for internal security Samuel Aruwan said 30 of the students were missing while the army was able to rescue 180 people after a battle with the gunmen.

“The troops successfully rescued 180 citizens; 42 female students, eight staff and 130 male students,” Aruwan said in a statement.

“However, about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.” The commissioner said some of the rescued students were injured during the operation and were being treated a military hospital.

Police and military personnel stood guard around the college at the outskirts of Kaduna city on Friday afternoon as anxious parents and families waited for news. A fighter jet flew overhead.

Government officials said the students were unaccounted for after a headcount at the college, and parents said they had been taken by the gunmen.

“We have confirmed from her colleagues our daughter Sera is with the abductors,” Helen Sunday told reporters, tears rolling down her face.

“I appeal to the government to help rescue our children.” “It is unacceptable for parents to send their children to school only to be kidnapped by criminal elements,” said Denis John, who said his brother was among those taken.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2021


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