Hundreds of school children kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria

Northwest and central Nigeria have increasingly been targeted by criminal gangs known locally as "bandits" who kidnap for ransom, rape and pillage across the region.

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Gunmen believed to belong to a criminal gang have kidnapped hundreds of schoolboys from their hostels along with some of their teachers in central Nigeria, an official and a security source told AFP Wednesday.The attackers wearing military uniforms stormed the Government Science College in “huge numbers” in the town of Kagara in Niger state late on Tuesday, herding the students into a nearby forest, the sources said.The school has around 1,000 students and it was unclear how many were taken.One student was dead during the kidnapping, the official said.

Northwest and central Nigeria have increasingly been targeted by criminal gangs known locally as “bandits” who kidnap for ransom, rape and pillage across the region.”Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said an official who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.”One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.

The school has around 1,000 students and it was not immediately clear how many were taken.The security source confirmed the details of the attack and said a headcount was underway.

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