UPDATED: Gunmen Attack School, Abduct Students, Others In Niger
Armed men have attacked Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
The incident started at about 2:00 am on Wednesday when the gunmen shot sporadically with one student feared killed and several others abducted.
Some teachers and their family members residing within the college staff quarters were also said to have been abducted by the gunmen.
Channels Television confirmed the development in the early hours of Wednesday.
The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.
The gunmen gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination.
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They wore military uniform and entered the school premises which has about 1000 students, overpowered the security guard, before whisking away the students and staff.
A staff by name Batagi who was among those kidnapped has escaped and is in the school as of the time of publishing this report. Others still with the bandits are Mall. Lawal, Ali, Hannatu and her husband, Dodo, Mohammed Abubakar(Akawu), among others.
The number of persons abducted and those injured is unclear as of the time of filing the report. A headcount is being conducted at the school to ascertain the actual number of missing students.
Channels Television also learnt that the security agencies were able to detect the nature of the area, and have started tracing the attackers’ movement while the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft have been seen hovering in the air to track the location of the students.
The State Police Command is yet to comment on the incident but an officer in the area confirmed it to Channels Television.
Kidnappers have in recent times targeted schools in the country. Less than three months ago, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.
Niger State has in the past days seen a spike in kidnapping by gunmen. A few days back, armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.
The state governor, Abubakar Bello had condemned the abduction, promising to secure the release of the passengers.
On Tuesday, a statement from the office of the Commissioner of Information in the state, Mohammed Idris said ten persons had been freed from the hands of the bandits.
The Information Commissioner further claimed that ransom was not paid to secure their release.