Nigeria – Officials in the northwestern state of Zamfara have closed schools and imposed curfew after gunmen abducted 73 high school students at the Government Day Secondary School in Kaya on Wednesday.
Zamfara state police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said in a statement that “the abduction followed the invasion of the school by large numbers of armed bandits,”. He also said that police rescue teams are working with the military to try to release the students.
Armed groups are blamed for a series of raids on schools in northern Nigeria in recent months, taking more than 1,000 learners since December 2020. Often, they demand large ransom payments from children’s parents. While most pupils get released, others die out of brutish treatment in captivity.
Following the shut down of schools, the state government has imposed a 6pm to 6am curfew on 13 local government areas and an 8pm to 6pm curfew on n Gusau, the state capital until further notice.Similar measures were announced in recent days in nearby Katsina and Kaduna states.
The authorities said they were “aware of the inconveniences” but added that the measures were needed to rid the state from “carnage and mayhem” caused by “bandits”.