Over 300 Girls Abducted From School By Radical Muslim Bandits In Nigeria
A guerilla force of around one hundred armed terrorists stormed a girls boarding school in northwest Nigeria on Thursday night (25 Feb 2021,) and kidnapped over 300 pupils. It was the second mass kidnapping carried out by Islamic fundamentalists in less than a week.
The attack on the Jangebe secondary school took place in in Zamfara state, a region where mass kidnappings are becoming a regular occurrence again after a spate of abductions in 2014 preceded an escalation of violence by groups afilliated to boko Haram.
Riding motorcycles and quad bikes, the men entered the school grounds around midnight and rampaged through the dormitories. One teacher reported that 600 teenage girls had been in the school dormitories at the time of the attack, but that only “about 50” have been accounted for so far. The missing girls may have been kidnapped or may have escaped.
“The armed men came into the school with vehicles, then they forced some of the girls to walk with them,” said Sulaiman Tunau Anka, a local government spokesperson.
“The Zamfara State Police Command in collaboration with the military have commenced a joint search and rescue operation with a view to rescuing the students kidnapped by the armed bandits in Government Girls Science Secondary School Jangebe,” police said in a statement.
Thursday’s kidnapping is the latest mass abductions of adolescents in rural Nigeria perpetrated by criminal groups, known locally as “bandits,” who terrorize the population, steal livestock, and loot villages. A similar attack took place on February 16 in a secondary school in Kagara, Niger state, where at least 27 students, a teacher and six members of his family were kidnapped by armed men.
In a further sign of a meltdown of lawful government in the face of Islamic militancy throughout Nigeria, at least 16 people died on February 23 in a mortar and rocket-propelled grenade attack in the suburbs of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state in the northeast of the country. That attack was claimed by a branch of the Boko Haram Islamic terror group led by Abubakar Shekau.
Last December, a group of bandits, acting on behalf of Boko Haram, kidnapped 344 students in a boarding school in the town of Kankara, in the neighboring state of Katsina. In that incident the bandits released their captives after a week of captivity following negotiations with authorities. On February 9, the leader of the kidnappers, Awwalun Daudawa, turned himself in to the authorities in exchange for an amnesty agreement.
The recent abductions are symptomatic of a generalized fragmentation of the country, as ethnic groups demand not only greater autonomy, but also the definitive renunciation of a nation in which they have lost all trust and sense of belonging.RELATED: