29 November 2022
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Gunmen kidnapped scores of children from an Islamic seminary in central Nigeria, officials said, the latest mass abduction to hit Africa’s most populous nation.

Some 200 children were at the school in Niger state on Sunday during the attack, the local government tweeted, adding “an unconfirmed number” were taken.

The abduction came a day after 14 students from a university in northwestern Nigeria were freed after 40 days in captivity, one of a series of kidnappings to target colleges and schools since December.

Niger state police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun said the attackers arrived on motorbikes in and started shooting indiscriminately, killing one resident and injuring another, before kidnapping the children from the Salihu Tanko Islamic school.

One of the school’s officials, who asked not to be named, said the attackers initially took more than 100 children “but later sent back those they considered too small for them, those between four and 12 years old”.

The state government, in a series of tweets, said the attackers had released 11 of the pupils who were “too small and couldn’t walk” very far.

In a later Twitter thread, the state added the governor Sani Bello had directed “security agencies to bring back (the) children as soon as possible”.

Abdul Gh Lone

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