Armed Men Abducted 15 Children While They Slept

In the early hours of Saturday, a group of armed individuals stormed a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria, abducting 15 children from their beds, according to local law enforcement. This incident occurred just two days after nearly 300 students were taken hostage in the same troubled region.

The northern region of Nigeria has been plagued by school abductions, a trend that gained international attention following the 2014 kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by Islamic extremists in Borno state’s Chibok village. Since then, armed groups have increasingly targeted schools for ransom kidnappings, with the number of abductions surpassing 1,400.

The latest attack took place in the Gidan Bakuso village of the Gada council area in Sokoto state around 1 a.m. local time. The assailants targeted an Islamic school, seizing the children from their dormitory before security forces could intervene, according to Sokoto police spokesman Ahmad Rufa’i.

In addition to the children, one woman from the village was also taken. Rufa’i stated that a police tactical squad was dispatched to search for the students. However, the remote location and inaccessible roads posed significant challenges to the rescue operation. The police had to resort to using motorcycles to reach the village.

This incident marks the third mass kidnapping in northern Nigeria since late last week. Over 200 individuals, primarily women and children, were abducted by suspected extremists in Borno state. On Thursday, another 287 students were taken hostage from a government primary and secondary school in Kaduna state.

These attacks underscore the ongoing security crisis in Africa’s most populous country. Kidnappings for ransom have become a profitable venture in Nigeria’s northern region, where numerous armed gangs operate. No group has claimed responsibility for any of the recent abductions.

While Islamic extremists waging an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria are suspected of the kidnapping in Borno state, locals attribute the school kidnappings to herders who had previously been in conflict with their host communities before resorting to arms. Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima met with authorities and some parents of the abducted students in Kaduna state on Saturday, assuring them of the security forces’ efforts to locate and rescue the children.