ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — At least 10 students were abducted by gunmen in northwest Nigeria, authorities said on Tuesday.
Students from the Government Secondary School in Kaduna state were abducted during an attack Monday, however it was unclear exactly where they were kidnapped from, said Samuel Aruwan, the state commissioner of security.
“The exact location of the incident is yet to be ascertained but detailed reports being awaited will clarify whether the incident occurred within the school premises or elsewhere,” he said.
Abductions of students from schools in northern Nigeria are common and have become a growing concern since 2014, when Islamic extremists kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Borno state. More than 1,000 students were kidnapped from schools in the northwest and northcentral regions in 2020 and 2021, according to a United Nations report last year.
Authorities blame the abductions on armed groups who often target remote communities. Most of the gunmen are thought to be young men who are ethnic Fulani, a largely Muslim group of semi-nomadic herders who have been embroiled in conflicts with communities over access to land and water.
While attacks reduced last year as Nigeria’s security forces ramped up military operations targeting the gunmen’s hideouts, the government’s still struggling to quell the insurgency.