Soldiers in a shootout with a gang that kidnapped students
According to a presidential statement on Saturday, the Nigerian military found and opened fire on militants who abducted dozens of high school students in the northwestern state of Katsina.
Police and local residents said on Friday at 9:40 pm, a gang armed with AK-47 assault rifles stormed a state science high school in the Kankar region. Parents and a school clerk told Reuters that about half of the 800 schoolchildren are missing.
President Muhammadu Bukhari said in a statement that the military had found the kidnappers in the woods and were fighting with them with air support.
In a statement, Bukhari condemned the attack in his home state. The police and military were still trying to determine how many people were kidnapped and missing.
Police at the scene on Friday shot the attackers, allowing some students to flee for safety, police spokesman Gambo Isa said in a statement.
Police said they will send additional forces to support search and rescue operations. According to them, an officer was wounded in a shootout with the gang.
Katzina suffers from violence that the government attributes to bandits – a generic term for gangs of criminals who attack and kidnap locals for ransom. Attacks by Islamist militants are common in the north-east of the country.
The violence and insecurity in Nigeria has infuriated citizens, especially after farmers were killed and some beheaded by Islamist militants in northeastern Borno state late last month.
Bukhari, who arrived on Friday for a week in his hometown about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Kankara, was scheduled to brief the national assembly on the security situation last week, but canceled the event without an official explanation.
Source: – Reuters