Gunmen abduct 317 schoolgirls in northwest Nigeria as security collapses

New abduction at Nigeria school, hundreds unaccounted for

Today's attack came less than two weeks after gunmen abducted 42 people, including 27 students, from the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State.

Heavily armed gangs known locally as "bandits" have stepped up attacks in northwest and central Nigeria in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging.

In December, dozens of gunmen abducted 344 schoolboys from the town of Kankara in north-west Katsina state.

"Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety, along with all children now under the custody of armed groups", the rights group said on Twitter.

Resident Musa Mustapha said the gunmen also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint, preventing soldiers from interfering while the gunmen spent several hours at the school.

Nigerian police and a local official said that a suspected criminal gang attacked the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara state, kidnapping at least 300 schoolgirls.

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An unnamed school staff member told the newspaper that the gunmen - some wearing uniforms and pretending to be security personnel - arrived at the school with pickup trucks and motorcycles around 1 a.m. on Friday (7 p.m. ET Thursday), then "broke into the students' hostels" and "forcefully evacuated" them.

He said: "When we heard of the issue of Niger state, we organised a press conference appealing to Mr President to protect them".

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Sund said he spoke with both sergeants-at-arms about requesting the National Guard two days before the riot, but Mr. The Justice Department has said that more than 130 law enforcement officers were injured in the insurrection.

"I'm on my way to Jangebe".

School abductions were once the domain of northeastern Islamist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province, but the tactic has now been adopted by other militants in Nigeria's northwest. I received a call that the school was invaded by bandits who took away schoolgirls.

The UN children's agency Unicef said it was "angered and saddened" by yet another mass abduction of students in Nigeria describing it as "brutal" and a "violation of children's rights". He called for their immediate release.

On December 11 previous year, more than 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in Kankara, in President Muhammadu Buhari's home state of Katsina, while he was visiting the region.

Ikemesit Effiong, head of research at Lagos-based risk consultancy SBM Intelligence, said many northern governors were keen to pay to avoid protracted hostage situations attracting global outrage, which in turn gave an incentive for more abductions.

A surge in armed militancy has led to a breakdown of security in the north of Africa's most populous country, where school kidnappings are becoming endemic.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the north by criminal gangs carrying out robberies and kidnappings. These groups are largely driven by financial motives, but there are concerns they are being infiltrated by jihadi militants waging an insurgency in the region.

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