Kuriga kidnap: More than 100 Nigerian pupils abducted

  • By Mansur Abubakar
  • BBC News, Kano

Image source, Getty Images

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Kidnapping gangs have ravaged much of the country in recent years, especially the northwest

More than a hundred Nigerian students have been kidnapped in the northwestern city of Kuriga, witnesses say.

The students were at the assembly point around 8:30 a.m. when dozens of armed men on motorcycles drove through the school, a witness said.

The students, aged between eight and 15, were taken away with a teacher, she added.

Kidnapping gangs known as bandits have rounded up hundreds of people in recent years, especially in the northwest.

However, over the past year until this week, there had been a decline in mass child abductions.

The eyewitness said one student was shot by the gunmen and is currently receiving medical attention at Birnin Gwari Hospital.

Kuriga is in Kaduna State and a state government official confirmed the incident to the BBC but did not provide details.

In January, bandits killed a school principal in the area and kidnapped his wife.

However, it is believed that there is no link between the two cases of mass kidnappings.

The criminal kidnapping gangs terrorizing northwestern Nigeria are separate from Boko Haram in the northeast, although there are reports they have worked together on occasion.

In an effort to stem Nigeria’s growing and lucrative kidnapping industry, a controversial law was passed in 2022 that makes paying ransom a crime. It carries a prison sentence of at least fifteen years, but no one has ever been arrested.

Earlier this year, the family of a group of sisters kidnapped in the capital Abuja denied a police statement that security forces had rescued the girls, saying they had no choice but to pay the ransom.

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