Nigeria kidnappings: Rescue efforts continue after gunmen kidnap dozens of students


Officials from the Chikun district school in Kaduna told Agence France-Presse news agency that as many as 140 students were captured and taken to an unknown destination by the attackers.

Kaduna police, however, said the final number of abducted students has yet to be determined.

Regional police spokesman Mohammed Jalige told CNN on Monday that the gunmen, known locally as “bandits”, took an unknown number of schoolchildren from Bethel Baptist High School, Kujuma, around 1:45 am local time. No one was killed in the raid, the spokesperson said.

Jalige said 26 students and a teacher have so far been rescued after “officers pursued the bandits.”

“The rescue operation is continuing,” Jalige said earlier Monday. “We are liaising with the school administration to obtain the exact number of people who have been kidnapped.”

Local authorities have ordered the immediate closure of 13 schools in the state, including Bethel Baptist, to prevent further attacks.

Kidnapped nurse reports with baby

The raid followed a similar attack on a federal medical facility in the town of Zaria, located less than two hours from Chikun, in the early hours of Sunday.

Jalige said about eight people were kidnapped by an armed gang from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Center in Zaria. The police spokesperson could not immediately confirm several reports that some of those abducted from the medical center were nurses and a baby.

Kidnappers kill two more kidnapped students from Nigerian university

A spokesperson for the hospital told Reuters that six people were abducted in the raid. They were two nurses, including one with her 1-year-old child, a lab technician, a security guard and another staff member, according to the spokesperson.

Jalige told CNN that during the attack on the hospital, another group of gunmen “attempted to invade” a police base in the area but were quickly pushed back, adding that a rescue team was working to secure the release of those abducted.

Kidnappings for ransom have escalated in northern Nigeria, where hundreds of schoolchildren have been taken since December. Kaduna, which is quickly becoming the epicenter of school kidnappings in northern Nigeria, has witnessed a spate of kidnappings since January.

Five students from Greenfield University in Kaduna were killed by their captors shortly after their kidnapping in late April.

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