Yet again! In Nigeria a gang attacked a school and abducted 333 boys and young men at gunpoint. The incident occurred on Friday evening in a state high school in the city of Kankara in the Katsina region, in the north of the country.
Police spokesman Gambo Isah said the perpetrators drove onto the school premises in motorbikes and that there was a whole squad of around 150 motorcyclists. Some of the kidnappers are said to have blocked access routes to the school to prevent outside help.
At the time of the crime, around 600 students were on the premises of the boarding school. According to the police chief, around 200 children and young people escaped – amid exchanges of fire with the police.
Life for money
According to initial investigations, it could be criminals who kidnap people to extort ransom. The Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has carried out similar attacks in the past. In 2014, the organization kidnapped 276 girls in the northeastern Nigerian city of Chibok who were raped, converted and forcibly married. Some were later released, but over 100 young women are still being held.
In the meantime, the military has apparently found the place where the 333 young people kidnapped on Friday are being kept hidden. In an interview with the BBC, Garba Shehu, spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari (77), said there was a “massive contingent” of troops to rescue the kidnapped children. Gunfire had already taken place.
There is a risk of bloodbath
According to Shehu, soldiers surrounded the hiding place in a forest in order to strike at the appropriate time. Shehu: “The criminal elements, these bandits, will be destroyed. They will be eliminated. “
But the operation is tricky: the kidnappers are equipped with submachine guns – possibly with other deadly weapons. It cannot be ruled out that an intervention could result in a bloodbath!
Fear of attack on Christmas
Many parents persevere at school. You are full of concern. Abubakar Lawal from Zaria, a town around 120 kilometers away, misses two of his three sons. “I came here immediately and pray that Almighty Allah will save our people.”
The newspaper “Punch” reported on protests in Katsina on Sunday, which were also directed against the government. Demonstrators had shouted “We want our children back” and “We want security in Kankara”.
The Archbishop of the capital diocese of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, expressed concern about the upcoming Christmas festival: “Christmas is the biggest festival in Nigeria, when many people visit their families. I fear that criminal gangs use the Christmas season to ambush, rob and kidnap people. ” (gf)