Gunmen abduct over 140 children from Nigerian school in nation's 4th mass kidnapping since December

Jul 6th

Bethel Baptist High School in northwestern Nigeria had 140 to 150 of its students kidnapped at gunpoint on Monday, the fourth such incident in Nigeria since December alone.

The attackers entered the school very early in the morning and took the students while they were sleeping in the school's dorms.

"The kidnappers took away 140 students, only 25 students escaped. We still have no idea where the students were taken," said Bethel teacher Emmanuel Paul.

Police said they have rescued 26 people, including a female teacher.

While no group has taken responsibility for the attack, the major player behind such attacks in the province of Kaduna is the Islamic terror group Boko Haram. The group kidnapped more than 300 children in December as punishment for "un-Islamic practices."

Other militant groups are predominantly made of Muslim Fulani herdsman, a nomadic people group that has had many young men become passionate supporters of violent Islamist ideology in recent years.

Parents gathered outside the school on Monday, crying as they waited to hear if the criminals would demand ransom or give any updates on the safety of their children.

"My daughter told me, 'Daddy, I don't like this school, remove me from this school,' said parent John Evans. I said, 'Baby, you are starting exams on Monday and I am told that by Friday you will be vacated, just be patient. Just this morning at about 6, I received a phone call that they have entered the school – kidnappers – that all our children are packed [taken], including my daughter. We rushed down here, we confirmed that they are all [taken]."

The parents also sang Christian worship songs as they waited.

More than 1,000 students have been kidnapped in Nigeria since December and 150 of them – mostly girls – are still missing.

The abduction on Monday came only hours after an attack on a health clinic in the same region where gunman kidnapped a nurse's 1-year-old child along with at least 7 other people.


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