Several students and three teachers were abducted Thursday by armed men from a federal college in Nigeria’s north-western Kebbi State, State Governor Abubakar Bagudu told CNN.
According to Governor Bagudu, the gunmen — locally known as bandits — raided the co-educational Federal Government College in Kebbi’s Birnin Yauri district on Thursday, killing a policeman in the attack.
Governor Bagudu also confirmed to CNN that a female student sustained gunshot wounds, while another staff member was hospitalized following the attack, adding that the school’s security teams had been “simply overpowered by the sheer number of bandits.”
The definitive number of abducted students has proven difficult to establish, Bagudu added, noting that some concerned parents had since withdrawn their children from school following the attack.
We don’t know how many students were taken,” Bagudu told CNN. “Many parents have taken their children out of school in a panic and we are hesitant to say how many are missing because some may have gone home.”
Police spokesman Nafiu Abubakar has confirmed that authorities are working to locate the abducted children.
“The team comprising operatives from the Police Mobile Force, Anti-kidnapping and Counter-terrorism units are currently combing nearby forests, routes and suspected hideouts of the criminals,” he said in a statement.
Regional police chief, Adeleke Adeyinka, has assured families of the abducted students that the force “is following credible leads and intensifying efforts to track the assailants and ensure the rescue of the missing students and teachers.”
This latest attack follows a string of kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria, where hundreds of schoolchildren have been kidnapped since December.