Murtala Muhammadu, 48, a neighborhood businessman in Tegina, a distant city within the Rafi district of the state of Niger, instructed CNN on Tuesday that his 5-year-old son and his three 6- and 7-year-old daughters have been between the greater than 150 schoolchildren kidnapped from an evening faculty of armed assailants within the state of Niger.
“4 of my youngsters, three women and one boy, at the moment are in captivity,” stated Muhammadu.
Based on state police officers, at the least one individual was killed within the raid, the newest in a sequence of college kidnappings within the nation this yr.
Ransom kidnapping stays a significant safety problem in Nigeria. Since December, tons of of scholars have been kidnapped in varied incidents within the northern a part of the nation.
Abubakar Alhassan, the varsity principal, described the scenes of chaos when the assailants broke into the varsity complicated, which homes a nursery, main and secondary faculty.
“It was earlier than we began the day and the gates have been closed, in order that they went in by way of the varsity window.”
They later broke the gate and stormed the varsity inflicting panic because the terrified youngsters locked themselves in rooms whereas others fled, Alhassan stated.
“Some youngsters escaped and locked themselves in some workplaces, however the bandits nonetheless took away greater than 150 pupils out of 303,” he added.
Alhassan’s two sons, ages 6 and 10, have been additionally amongst these taken in addition to a instructor and two lecturers, he stated.
He added that greater than 100 of his captive pupils are between the ages of Four and 5. The institute is an Islamic faculty known as Islamiyya, for night training for girls and boys and for studying fundamental spiritual teachings.
A warning of the assault
Muhammadu instructed CNN that information of an impending assault on Tegina by gunmen had circulated previous to the raid.
“I used to be in entrance of my home when somebody instructed me that there’s a rumor that the bandits … are in all probability planning to assault our neighborhood. We now have been suggested to correctly supervise our respective households,” Muhammadu stated.
Muhammadu described the second when the attackers stormed Tegina on Sunday afternoon and randomly opened fireplace.
“All of the sudden we noticed them enter our neighborhood. They handed my home round 3:30 pm with out saying a phrase to anybody … and headed to a fuel station. Then they began capturing,” he added.
The daddy’s worst fears have been confirmed when he acquired a telephone name informing him that solely 4 of his eight youngsters had returned dwelling from faculty.
A spokeswoman for the Niger state authorities, Mary Noel-Berje, instructed CNN on Monday that at the least 11 of the kids kidnapped in the course of the raid have been subsequently launched, resulting from their age.
“Eleven youngsters have been launched due to their tenderness … the little ones who couldn’t cross the bush path, the escape route of the abductors, have been launched,” Noel-Berje stated.
The deputy governor of the state of Niger, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, stated in a press convention on Monday that the federal government has contacted some dad and mom of the kidnapped youngsters recognized to make sure their secure return.
“We do not pay ransoms to the abductors. We are attempting to barter to see how we are able to get them again safely,” Ketso added.