Hundreds of Nigerian students are missing after gunmen attacked a high school in northwestern Katsina state, police said, while the president said the military was in shootings with bandits in a forest as she tried to find the students.
Kankara government science high school was attacked on Friday evening by a large group of bandits who fired “AK-47 rifles,” Katsina State Police spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement.
Police engaged the attackers “in a shootout which gave (some) of the students the opportunity to break through the school fence and run to safety,” Isah said.
About 400 students are missing, while 200 are listed, Isah said. The school would have accommodated more than 600 pupils.
“Police, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force are working closely with school authorities to determine the actual number of missing and / or kidnapped students,” Isah said. “The search teams are working to find or save the missing students.”
A resident of the town, Mansur Bello, told The Associated Press that the attackers took some of the students away.
The army, backed by air power, has located the bandit enclave in Zango / Paula forest in the Kankara region, and there has been an exchange of gunfire in an ongoing operation, the said. President Muhammadu Buhari, according to a statement released by his spokesman Garba. Shehu.
Our prayers go out to the families of the students, to the school authorities and to the injured,” the president said. He does not say if any students were rescued.
The attack, the latest on a school by gunmen in Nigeria, is believed to have been carried out by one of the many bandit groups active in northwestern Nigeria. The groups are known to have kidnapped people for ransom.
The most serious school attack took place in April 2014, when members of the jihadist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from their school dormitories in Chibok, northeastern Borno state. About a hundred girls are still missing.