At least one person has been confirmed dead in school kidnapping raids in the country this year.
The state police said, “Armed bandits on motorcycles fired indiscriminately on Tegina city, Rafi LGA, and the number of children in the Salihu Tanko Islamic School is yet to be ascertained.”
“In the process, the dacoits shot and killed a person,” the police statement said. According to state police officials, tactical teams were “immediately mobilized” as part of an effort to rescue the victims. The state police said, “The command calls for calm as police and other security agencies will do everything possible to ensure that children are protected safely.”
A spokeswoman for the Niger State government, Mary Noel-Burje, told CNN on Monday that at least 11 children abducted during the raid were later released.
Noel-Berje said, “11 children were released because of their tenderness … very young children who could not go through the bush, leaving the kidnappers’ escape route.”
According to the government spokesperson, the school targeted in the attack includes children from kindergarten, primary and middle school.
“The government is working to find out the number of kidnapped children. The house-to-house counting is being done,” he said.
It also comes days after the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna were freed. Five students were killed by their kidnappers during captivity.
The kidnapping has become one of the major security challenges in Nigeria and hundreds of students have been kidnapped in various mass kidnappings in Northern Nigeria since December. Some state governors pay ransom regularly to protect victims but rarely accept to do so.
Groups of robbers, known locally as bandits, operate from forest enclaves in northwestern Nigeria, where they organize attacks and kidnappings on rural areas and Nigeria’s major road networks.
Between June 2011 and the end of March 2020, an estimated $ 18.34 million was paid as a ransom, according to Lagos-based SBM Intelligence last year in a report titled “Economics of the kidnapping industry in Nigeria”.