JANGEBE, 26 February 2021 – Unidentified gunmen have abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from a boarding secondary school in Jangebe, a town in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara.
The abduction unfolded Friday morning, according to eyewitnesses and local security services who put the exact number of missing schoolgirls at 317.
A parent of one of the students in the school and a teacher who were both on the school campus at the time of the raid said the gunmen looked and acted wild.
Some of the gunmen, who numbered over 100, were dressed as government security forces, one evyewitness said.
The gunmen stormed the dormitories at Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe town just after 1 a.m. riding in and out on motorcycles and pick-up trucks.
“They broke the school gate and shot at the security man. Then they moved into the hostels and woke up the girls, telling them it was time for prayers,” explained one eyewitness.
“After gathering all of them, the girls were crying and they took them away to the forest. They were also shooting in the air as they were marching to the forest,” the eyewitness added.
Police confirmed the kidnappings in the course of the day, Friday, but provided very little details about what they have learnt about the kidnappers or the welfare of the schoolgirls abducted.
This latest kidnapping comes less than a week since 42 people, including 27 students, were kidnapped from Kagara in the neighboring state of Niger.
The 42 have not yet been released.
Armed groups, like Boko Haram, but also armed bandits have multiplied kidnappings of students followed by an invitation for their loved ones to make ransom payments.
The most spectacular of these abductions remain the April 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok.