OAN’s Abril Elfi
12:52 PM – Friday, September 22, 2023
At least 20 students in northwestern Nigeria have been abducted by gunmen in an attack that targeted their school.
Zamfara Police Spokesman Yazid Abubakar stated on Friday that at least 20 students were taken hostage after gunmen broke into their housing near the Federal University Gusau in Zafamara.
A witness of the attack, Mallam Abdul Bagudu, reported that the gunmen invaded the community at around 3 a.m. on Friday and started shooting and attacking the University.
Three hostels in which students resided were invaded and many were taken by the criminals.
A student who experienced the attack said that “they forced their way through the windows. They dragged [students] out through the window.”
According to another student, Hassan Aliyu, the assailants engaged in a gun battle with troops of the Nigerian army.
“They divided themselves into two groups with one group taking the kidnapped victims while the others stayed behind to engage with forces,” he said. “The first group had left with the students while the second group engaged the army in a gun duel.”
Abubakar couldn’t confirm the exact number of students who were taken hostage, though local media reported the number to be at least 24, quoting other students who also said that the kidnap victims were mostly female students.
Reportedly, local authorities were able to rescue six students in a nearby community.
Northwestern Nigeria has suffered a problem with abductions since 2014 when Islamic extremists kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Borno state. Although in the last year the frequency of attacks had reduced, Friday’s incident brings new concerns for the area.
Abubakar stated that a manhunt with search and rescue teams and the army, and the airforce has been launched to find and arrest the gunmen.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts