Gunmen in Nigeria abduct about 150 students from Islamic school

An armed gang has abducted students from an Islamic school in the north-central Nigerian state of Niger.

The school’s owner, Abubakar Tegina, told Reuters he witnessed the attack and estimated about 150 students had been taken. “I personally saw between 20 和 25 motorcycles with heavily armed people. They entered the school and went away with about 150 or more of the students,” said Tegina, who lives around 150 metres from the school.

“We can’t be exact because most of them have not reported to the school as at that time.”

A spokesman for Niger’s state police said in a statement gunmen on motorcycles attacked the town of Tegina at around 3pm on Sunday. He said the attackers were “shooting indiscriminately and abducted a yet-to-be-ascertained number of children at Salihu Tanko Islamic school”.

Tegina said around 300 pupils attend the school, and are aged between seven and 15. He said pupils live at home and only attend classes at the site.

One person was shot dead during the attack and a second person was seriously injured, the state governor’s spokeswoman said.

她说 11 of the children taken were released by the gunmen because they were “too small and couldn’t walk”. A group of bus passengers were also abducted, 她说.

Armed groups carrying out kidnapping for ransom are being blamed for a series of raids on schools and universities in northern Nigeria in recent months, abducting more than 700 students for ransom since December.

Sunday’s attack in Niger took place the day after the release of the remaining 14 students of a group abducted last month from a university in neighbouring Kaduna state.