Gunmen in northwest Nigeria abducted nearly 30 students overnight from a forestry college near a military academy, three students said on Friday, in the fourth mass school kidnapping 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 reveal the number of the students who had been taken.
Sani Danjuma, a student at the college, said those kidnapped were all female students, but authorities were unable to confirm this. Other students reported that some of the young women had managed to escape during the attack.
Sporadic gunshots were heard at around 11:30 p.m., local resident Haruna Salisu said as he spoke by phone.
“We were not panicking, thinking that it was a normal military exercise being conducted at the Nigerian Defense 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 kidnapped some of the students.”
Salisu said she had seen military personnel taking the remaining students into the academy.
Relatives of students gathered on Friday morning at the gates of the college, which was surrounded by almost 20 army trucks.