Armed assailants, carrying military equipment, according to witnesses, stormed the Government High School for Science Kagar on Wednesday around 2am. One student was killed during the abduction, a CNN resident said.
The number of people abducted from boarding schools could rise because an unknown number of teachers are still missing, a spokeswoman for the Nigerian governor told CNN.
“We have received information that 27 students are still missing. We do not know the number of teachers at the moment. We do not want to put numbers that will turn out to be contradictory, but efforts are being made to save them,” said Mary Noel Barje, Governor Abubakar Sani’s press secretary. Bella, he said.
Kagara resident Abubakar Mohammed told CNN that gunmen killed one student.
“At about 2 a.m., they broke into the school staff room,” Mohammed, who told CNN he was at the school site Wednesday morning and saw police pull the dead body out of the dorm.
“They forced staff children to take them to a hostel. They kidnapped students there along with some staff members. They killed one student at the hostel. His body is now at the Kagari police station. Police are now everywhere at the school,” Mohammed said.
He added that residents of the community were on standby after receiving a warning of a planned attack.
“About last night we heard information that the robbers were coming to Kagar, but we didn’t know where they would attack. Later around 10 pm we heard that they were only on the outskirts of Kagar, there was panic,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the abduction of school children.
“The president has instructed the armed forces and police to ensure the immediate and safe return of all prisoners,” Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said on Wednesday.
“The president also sent a team of security chiefs to Minn, Niger, to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with government officials, community leaders, as well as parents and college staff.”
Former Nigerian Senator Shehu Sani told CNN that the school does not have a perimeter fence and would allow easy access to militants.
Sani, who was also a student at the school, told CNN: “The city is at the epicenter of a riot in the state of Niger. Fulani bandits operate within the axis and there are thousands of displaced people in the area. Northwest Nigerian bandits are becoming more deadly and destructive than Boko Haram. ”
Bukhari recently withdrew all heads of Nigerian security forces and appointed new ones, amid growing insecurity and kidnappings in the country.
“The security situation in Nigeria is huge and threatens peace in the country,” Sani told CNN.
“It is unfortunate that the heads of services were allowed to stay for so long,” he added.
The Nigerian leader was on a week-long vacation in the state when the incident happened.
Students in that invasion have since been released.