Jihadist group Boko Haram on Tuesday, December 15 claimed responsibility for the abduction of hundreds of school students in northwest Nigeria.
At least 333 students are still missing since the attack late Friday, December 11 on the Government Science Secondary School in north-western Katsina state.
“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” a leader of Boko Haram said in a voice message.
More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school, Katsina State, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush.
The school is believed to have more than 600 students.
“The police, Nigerian Army, and Nigerian Air Force are working closely with the school authorities to ascertain the actual number of the missing and/or kidnapped students," said Gambo Isah on Friday, December 11.Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, said “I strongly condemn the cowardly bandits’ attack on innocent children at the Science School.
Boko Haram, and a splinter group the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), are waging an insurgency in Nigeria northeast and are thought to have only a minor presence in the northwest.
But concerns have grown of jihadist inroads into the region, especially after fighters claiming to be in the northwest released a 2020 propaganda video pledging allegiance to Boko Haram’s leader.
Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari has made the fight against Boko Haram a priority, but the security situation in northern Nigeria has deteriorated since his 2015 election.
(With inputs from agencies)