Some female students of the Federal Government Girls College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, have reportedly been abducted from their school.
No less than 30 students and three teachers are said to have been taken away by the armed bandits who invaded the school in the early hours of Thursday.
According to witnesses, the gunmen, numbering over 50, and riding on motorcycles, stormed the school from a forest in the neighbouring town of Rijau, and were able to gain access into the school after overpowering the school’s security men in a gun battle, killing one them in the process.
A teacher in the school, Abubakar Suru, who spoke to the BBC Hausa Service shortly after the incident, said the gunmen overpowered the police operatives guarding the school and commandeered a Toyota Hilux with which they loaded their victims and took them away.
Suru added that when the gunmen arrived the school, they shot sporadically before engaging the security operatives in a shootout.
“When the bandits arrived, they were shooting into the air as they made their way to the school area. They were armed with sophisticated weapons and we have never heard gunshots in our lives.
“They entered the school at about 12:30pm and began shooting at the security personnel. I and some of the students had to hide inside a classroom; I told them to lie down and begin to pray. We were lucky that they did not see us as the unlucky students and the teachers were kidnapped.”
It was also gathered that some of the students were injured while trying to escape just as some were hit by stray bullets and have been taken to a hospital for medical attention.
The lawmaker representing the Yauri Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Muhammad Bello Ingaski, also expressed shock at the incident.
“I was reliably informed that the gunmen beat up and overpowered the more than 20 Mobile Police officers guarding the school, beheading some and shooting others. Some of the students and teachers were injured while trying to flee from the bandits. I also heard that many of them are still in the surrounding forests where they escaped to. So far, we cannot ascertain the number of students that were abducted,” Ingaski said.
The Kebbi State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nafiu Abubakar, was not available to either confirm or deny the incident as calls and text messages sent to his phone were not replied at the time of this report.
By Isaac Dachen
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