Gunmen kidnapped dozens of female students from a college in northwestern Nigeria late Thursday, state officials said, the fourth mass abduction in as many months in a region that is suffering from a worsening security breakdown.
Officials in the state of Kaduna said the attack took place at the Federal College of Forestry, a higher education establishment in the town of Mando, close to Kaduna’s international airport and a military academy.
“They were abducted last night—we have no details of the number of students,” sad Kaduna police spokesman Mohammed Jalige.
Shehu Sani, a former senator of Kaduna, said he had been briefed by security officials that the kidnappers separated the girls from the boys and only took the girls.
“Young women are easier to handle—they don’t try to escape,” Mr. Sani said. “And there’s a possibility for the kidnappers to get a higher price…This is the world we are living in now.”
The abduction is the fourth mass school kidnapping since December in Nigeria’s northwest, where a surge in armed militancy has led to a worsening breakdown of security and where kidnap for ransom has become a lucrative industry.
It comes less than two weeks after 279 girls were abducted from a boarding school in neighboring Zamfara state and then freed days later after a ransom was paid, according to former hostages and people familiar with the negotiations.
a former general who has been criticized for the deteriorating security situation across Nigeria’s north, has said his government is “working hard to bring an end to these grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping.”
Government officials this week announced a deployment of 6,000 troops to Zamfara, seen as the epicenter of the banditry. But the latest abduction shows the spread and scale of the problem.
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