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Gunmen kidnap five students in Nigeria

Kidnapping Nigeria

Gunmen have kidnapped five students in northern Nigeria, police said, days after more than 20 others were abducted in a neighbouring region.

A police operation to find the five female students, who were kidnapped on Wednesday, is under way, they said.

One person has been detained.

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“At about 2:00 am, suspected terrorists kidnapped five female students of the federal university,” Aliyu Abubakar Sadiq, a police spokesman in Katsina state, said in a statement late on Wednesday.

It comes less than two weeks after gunmen from criminal “bandit” gangs abducted more than 30 people, including at least 24 female students, in a raid around a university outside Gusau, the Zamfara state capital.

Nigerian troops have rescued 16 of the hostages, including 13 students.

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The raid was the first mass kidnapping at a college since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu came to power in May, promising to tackle insecurity in Nigeria, where kidnap-for-ransom gangs have repeatedly hit schools.

Zamfara and Katsina are among several states in northwestern and central Nigeria where bandit gangs operate, raiding villages, killing and abducting residents as well as burning and looting homes.

The criminals have been notorious for mass kidnappings of students from schools in recent years.

In February 2021, bandits raided a girl’s boarding school in the town of Jangebe in Zamfara state, kidnapping more than 300 students.

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The girls were freed days later following a ransom payment by the authorities.