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Kuriga kidnap: More than 100 Nigerian pupils abducted

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More than 100 Nigerian school students have been abducted in the north-western town of Kuriga, witnesses say.

The pupils were in the assembly ground around 08:30 (07:30GMT) when dozens of gunmen on motorcycles rode through the school, one witness said.

The students, between the ages of eight and 15, were taken away, along with a teacher, they added.

Kidnap gangs, known as bandits, have seized hundreds of people in recent years, especially the north-west.

However, there had been a reduction in the mass abduction of children over the past year until this week.

The eyewitness said that one pupil was shot by the gunmen and is currently receiving medical attention at the Birnin Gwari hospital.

Kuriga is in Kaduna state and an official from the state government confirmed the incident to the BBC but failed to give details.

In January, bandits killed a school principal in the area and abducted his wife.

The kidnapping comes just a day after dozens of women and children were feared kidnapped by the Boko Haram Islamist group while they were collecting firewood in north-eastern Nigeria.

However the two cases of mass abductions are not thought to be related.

The criminal kidnap gangs bringing fear to north-western Nigeria are separate to Boko Haram in the north-east, although there have been reports that they may have worked together on occasion.

In an attempt to curb Nigeria’s spiralling and lucrative kidnapping industry, a controversial law that has made it a crime to make ransom payments was passed in 2022. It carries a jail sentence of at least 15 years, however no-one has ever been arrested.

Earlier this year, the family of a group of sisters kidnapped in the capital, Abuja, denied a police statement that the security forces had rescued the girls, saying that they had no choice but to pay the ransom.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS