Gunmen in northwest Nigeria kidnapped around 30 students overnight from a forestry college near a military academy, three students said on Friday, in the fourth mass school abduction since December.
The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization sits on the outskirts of Kaduna city, capital of Kaduna state, in a region roamed by armed gangs, who often travel on motorcycles.
Kaduna state’s security commissioner, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attack but did not say how many students had been taken.
Sani Danjuma, a student at the college, said those abducted were all female students, but authorities were unable to confirm this. Other students said some of the young women had managed to escape during the attack.
Local resident Haruna Salisu, speaking by phone, said he had heard sporadic gunshots at around 11:30 p.m.
“We were not panicking, thinking that it was a normal military exercise being conducted at the Nigerian Defence Academy,” he said.
“We came out for dawn prayers, at 5:20 a.m., and saw some of the students, teachers and security personnel all over the school premises. They told us that gunmen raided the school and abducted some of the students.”
Salisu said she had seen military personnel taking the remaining students into the academy.
On Friday morning, relatives of students gathered at the gates of the college, which was surrounded by around 20 army trucks.