Over Four Hundred Students Unaccounted For As Bandits Raid Katsina Secondary School

Dozens of distraught parents and guardians on Saturday besieged Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State in search of their children and wards, following an attack on the school by gunmen on Friday night.

Hundreds of students could not be accounted for on Saturday, although the police said they rescued 200, but unconfirmed sources say 400.

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Many are feared abducted by the hoodlums.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who arrived in the state on a private visit a few hours before the attack, directed the army and the police to go after the bandits immediately with a view to rescuing the missing children.

In its first reaction to the attack, the state government ordered the closure of all boarding schools to avert a reoccurrence.

Governor Aminu Masari said no one could yet ascertain the number of students who were kidnapped.

Speaking with reporters, the governor said 426 students had been counted as safe.

“This incident has gone beyond imagination,” he said in Hausa.

“For us, it’s highly worrisome and disturbing. I am assuring parents and guardians of these children that – we couldn’t say that we are more disturbed than them – but to rest assured that we share the same worries with them, because we know that we have the responsibility to protect their lives and their health.”

The governor said he had met with the army, who told him they were on top of the situation as efforts intensified to locate the bandits.

“And by God’s grace, we will do all that it takes to rescue the entire abducted students,” Masari said.

“I urge you people in the name of Allah and his prophet to please remain patient and intensify prayers.

“This is because sharing blames and all sorts of abuses are not the solution in this trying time. Honestly speaking, we are not enjoying what is taking place and we are not executing what we are supposed to do when it comes to the issue of protection of the lives of our people.

“We want to assure you that we will do all that is possible on the school children, as we have directed the immediate closure of all schools in the state and that all students should be taken back home.”

The gunmen stormed the school at about 11.30 pm in an attack reminiscent of the April 14, 2014 night invasion of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by the terror sect, Boko Haram.

Students, teachers, and non-teaching staff fled into surrounding bush for their lives.

A headcount in the boarding school yesterday amid reports that hundreds of them had been abducted indicated that 54 students were missing.

Eight hundred and eighty four students were said to be in the school at the time of the attack.

The state police command said 200 of the students who fled for safety were found by the divisional police officer in the area and returned.

The police said they received report of the attack around 11:30 pm. They were told that bandits armed with AK-47 rifles had attacked the school.

One of the policemen on security duties on the school premises was shot during the attack.

He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

 

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