Over 300 students are missing (Reuters )
Fears are growing over hundreds of pupils who remain missing three days after gunmen attacked their school in northern Nigeria.
More than 300 students are still unaccounted for after the attack on the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, on Friday night.
A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force and army.
When the boy’s school was attacked, police engaged in a gunfight with the gunmen, allowing many students to scale the school’s fence and run for safety, according to Katsina State police spokesman Gambo Isah.
The military was in gunfights with suspects after locating their hideout in the Zango/Paula forest on Saturday, according to a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Salish Masi’s two sons are among those still missing from the school which has more than 600 students.
‘I am worried that after three days I have no news about my children,’ he said on Monday.
‘I have been waiting for the authorities to tell me what happened but till now, they have said nothing.’
Parents gather during a meeting at the school (Reuters)
Another parent, Mustapha Gargaba, said he is very anxious because he does not know what has happened to his son.
No group or persons have claimed responsibility for the abduction of the students, the Katsina state governor said after meeting with security officials.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the attack on the school and called ‘for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted children and for their safe return to their families’, in a statement issued in New York.
While several groups of outlaws are active in northwestern Nigeria, the ones known to kidnap for ransom have links to jihadists Boko Haram and its breakaway faction, the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, known as Iswap.
More than 1,100 people have been killed by gunmen in an escalation of attacks during the first half of the year, according to Amnesty International, which said the government was failing to bring the attackers to justice.
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