Nigeria gunmen abduct 39 students in college raid

KANO, NIGERIA (AFP) – Gunmen raided a college in northwestern Nigeria and kidnapped 39 students, government officials and parents said on Friday, in the latest mass abduction targetting a school.

The kidnap gang stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando, Kaduna state, around 9.30pm on Thursday, shooting indiscriminately before taking students. The Kaduna college was said to have some 300 male and female students- mostly aged 17 and older – at the time of the attack.

Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security Samuel Aruwan said 39 of the students were missing while the army was able to rescue 180 people after a battle with the gunmen.

“Further checks in the wake of the attack by armed bandits… indicate that 39 students are currently unaccounted for,” including 23 females and 16 males, Aruwan said in a statement late Friday. He had initially said 30 students were unaccounted for.

Aruwan said the state government “is maintaining close communication with the management of the college as efforts are sustained by security agencies towards the tracking of the missing students”.

An empty female hostel of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, following an attack by gunmen in Afaka, Nigeria. PHOTO: AP