Kuriga Crisis: Over 280 Nigerian Pupils Abducted in Shocking Mass Kidnapping

The victims, aged between eight and 15, were swiftly whisked away by the gunmen, leaving behind a scene of chaos and panic. Although 25 students have since been accounted for, the fate of the rest remains uncertain

In a harrowing incident that has sent shockwaves across Nigeria, more than 280 school pupils, alongside a teacher, were abducted from a school assembly ground in the north-western town of Kuriga.

Witnesses reported that the abductors, riding motorcycles and armed with weapons, stormed the school premises around 08:30 local time, instilling terror among the students and staff.

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The victims, aged between eight and 15, were swiftly whisked away by the gunmen, leaving behind a scene of chaos and panic. Although 25 students have since been accounted for, the fate of the rest remains uncertain.

Kidnap gangs, often referred to as bandits, have been responsible for numerous abductions in Nigeria’s northwestnorthwest region in recent years.

While there had been a decline in such mass kidnappings, this incident marks a troubling resurgence of the heinous crime.

President Bola Tinubu expressed confidence in the rescue efforts, assuring the nation that every measure would be taken to ensure the safe return of the abducted children and teachers.

He pledged to hold the perpetrators accountable for their despicable actions. Tragically, one pupil believed to be 14 years old, succumbed to injuries sustained during the abduction, underscoring the brutality of the assailants.

Amid the chaos, a teacher managed to escape and recounted the valiant yet futile attempts by locals to rescue the children. Despite their efforts, they were met with resistance from the armed abductors, resulting in further violence.

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Zakariyya Nasiru, a resident whose siblings were among the hostages, shared the anguish gripping the community. With families unable to find solace, their thoughts and prayers are fervently focused on the safe return of their loved ones.

The Nigerian armed forces have launched a comprehensive operation to locate and rescue the abducted children, with Governor Uba Sani asserting that no child will be left behind.

This devastating incident follows closely on the heels of another abduction in north-eastern Nigeria, where dozens of women and children were feared kidnapped by the Boko Haram Islamist group.

The group responsible for the Kuriga abduction, Ansaru, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, has been linked to previous kidnappings in the region.

While criminal gangs perpetrate most kidnappings in northwest Nigeria, efforts to combat the scourge have been hampered by the lucrative ransom industry.

Despite the passage of a controversial law criminalizing ransom payments in 2022, enforcement has been lacking, allowing the perpetrators to continue their criminal activities with impunity.

The anguish and uncertainty gripping the town of Kuriga serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for decisive action to safeguard Nigeria’s children and communities from the scourge of abduction and violence.

The nation awaits with bated breath as rescue efforts intensify, hoping for the safe return of the abducted children and a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness cast by this tragedy.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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