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    ‘Many children’ abducted as bandits attack Islamic school in Niger

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    Many children have been reportedly abducted by bandits during an attack on Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Rafi LGA of Niger state.

    The bandits invaded the school located at Tegina on Sunday evening.

    It is not immediately clear how many students were taken hostage, but yans.ng understands the bandits operated for hours.

    They arrived in their numbers on motorcycles and started shooting sporadically into the air.

    Mary Noel-Berje, chief press secretary to the state governor, confirmed the attack to yans.ng.

    She, however, said that the exact number of kidnapped students is yet to be verified.

    “We are still waiting for more information but as it is now, it has been confirmed that there was an attack,” she said.

    “I wouldn’t know (the number kidnapped) but I was told about 200, six of them who could not continue with the trekking were killed in the bush.”

    Wasiu Abiodun, spokesman of the state police command, also confirmed the incident, adding that tactical teams have been mobilised to the location to rescue the victims.

    He said in a statement: “On 30/05/2021 at about 1500hrs, armed bandits on board motorcycles in their numbers invaded Tegina town, Rafi LGA shooting indiscriminately and abducted a yet to be ascertained number of children at Salihu Tanko Islamic school, Tegina. The bandits shot one person dead in the process.

    “However, the Command has immediately mobilized all tactical teams including operation puff 2 to the location for rescue of the victims.

    “The Command also calls for calm as the Police and other security agencies shall do everything humanly possible to ensure that the children are rescued unhurt.”

    This is the second time schoolchildren are being kidnapped by bandits in Niger this year.

    They had abducted dozens of children from Government Science College (GSC) Kagara and released them a few weeks after.

    Similar attacks have also been carried out in schools across northern parts of the country, resulting in the kidnap of at least 700 students and children since December 2020.

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