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140 Students Abducted in Northwestern Nigeria  

Parents stand beside signpost of Bethel Baptist School where 140 boarding students were kidnapped by bandits in Kaduna, northwestern Nigeria, on July 5, 2021.

Armed kidnappers have taken 140 students from their boarding school in northwestern Nigeria, local officials announced Monday.

Attackers opened fire on the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state early Monday, abducting most of the 165 pupils boarding there overnight.

Teachers at the school told reporters they don’t know where the students were taken.

Police in Kaduna state said they have rescued 26 people, including one teacher.

Monday’s abduction is one of many recent kidnappings, usually for ransom, that have hit schools in northern Nigeria.

Late last month, gunmen attacked a school in the northwest state of Kebbi, abducting at least 80 students and teachers.

At Least 80 Students Missing After Latest School Raid in Nigeria
At Least 80 Students Missing After Latest School Raid in Nigeria

Amnesty International reports about 600 schools in northern Nigeria have closed as a result of persistent attacks since late last year.

Earlier this year, the government promised more security deployment to schools. But teachers and activists in the country say their schools remain poorly protected.

Nigerian authorities have faced increased criticism over the kidnappings, one of the country’s many security challenges including the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, and a growing separatist movement in the southeast.

Timothy Obiezu contributed to this report.