AFRICA/NIGERIA - Kidnapping of students: over 1,680 kidnappings in the last 10 years

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 kidnappings   students  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Nine students are still in the hands of the kidnappers who on May 9 attacked the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) in Osara, Kogi state, northern Nigeria. An unknown number of armed men broke into a lecture hall where students were preparing for their first semester exams, scheduled for May 13. After intimidating the students and firing several shots in the air, the kidnappers fled, taking 24 students with them. On Sunday, May 12, police announced that 15 of the kidnapped students were released after a fierce battle between security forces and the gang. There are currently nine boys still in the hands of the kidnappers. In Nigeria, terrorists and armed gangs often attack schools and academic institutions to kidnap students and sometimes teachers. According to the UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, in the decade since the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok on the night of April 14-15, 2014, more than 1,680 students have been abducted in various attacks on schools. According to Munduate, in addition to students, school staff have also suffered a high toll in victims and kidnappings by armed gangs in these ten years: 60 kidnapped and 14 dead in more than 70 attacks on schools. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/5/2024)