Gunmen ‘kidnap babies and nurses from hospital as militants snatch 140 children from Nigeria school07/05/2021
GUNMEN have allegedly kidnapped babies and nurses from hospital, as militants snatch 140 children from a Nigerian school.
The horror incident – the latest in a wave of abductions targeting schoolchildren and students – took place at the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre in Zaria, early on Monday morning.
Heavily-armed criminal gangs frequently ambush villages and proceed to steal cattle, loot homes and abduct for ransom, in northwest and central Nigeria.
Since the start of the year, they have increasingly targeted schools and colleges.
Gunmen scaled a fence to break into the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state in the early hours of Monday, taking away most of the 165 pupils boarding overnight.
"The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped. We still have no idea where the students were taken," Emmanuel Paul, a teacher at the school told AFP.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped from Bethel Baptist School told the BBC that a large group of armed men had arrived on motorbikes and broken down the fence, before seizing the schoolchildren.
Kaduna state police spokesman Mohammed Jalige confirmed the early Monday morning attack, however could not give details on the number of pupils taken.
"Tactical police teams went after the kidnappers," he said.
Jalige confirmed police were “still on” the rescue mission.
It was not yet known who was behind the abductions.
Bethel Baptits High School is a co-education college located in Maramara village in Chikun district, outside Nigeria’s state capital Kaduna.
Monday’s attack was the fourth mass school kidnap in the state since December.
Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year.
Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some of these are still being held.
Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.
Nine of these students were killed.
More armed groups had resorted to mass abduction of students, since the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok secondary school by Boko Haram Islamist militants in Borno state.
The girls were kept prisoner for three years, after being snatched from a school in the north-eastern town of Chibok in April 2014.
Government ministers confirmed the girls were finally freed on Saturday 6 May 2017 in exchange for five high-ranking Boko Haram prisoners.
Boko Haram warlord Abubakar Shekau is said to have blown himself up back in May, as he was hunted down by rival terror group Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap), which is now poised to dominate the region.
Iswap claimed they had orders to kill Shekau from ISIS commanders in the Middle East, who were concerned at his indiscriminate killing of Muslims.
They raided his forest lair in Nigeria last month, reportedly inflicting heavy casualties with weapons mounted on pickup trucks.
Iswap leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi claimed Shekau hid in the bush for five days, then refused an offer of surrender.
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