Four schoolgirls abducted by bandits in Nigeria’s restive northwest

Four schoolgirls were abducted by bandits early on Wednesday in the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara, the Abuja-based International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) says.

The agency cites a police source to say the bandits raided Tsafe town in the cover of darkness and made away with the College of Health Technology learners from their hostel just outside the institution.

“Early today at about 3:00 am, four students of the College of Health, Tsafe, who were residing in a rented house outside the campus were abducted by yet to be identified hoodlums,” ICIR quotes Zamfara State Police Command Muhammed Shehu.

“Police in collaboration with other security operatives are currently on extensive search and rescue operations aimed at rescuing the victims unhurt,” Shehu said.

The latest incident comes as the country is still coming to terms with the abduction of over 160 people from a train last month.

Nigeria’s northwestern region has seen a spike in terror-related activities which have seen tens of people killed and many others kidnapped or left wounded.

Over the years, school going learners have been particularly targeted by terrorists to be used as ransom bargains or recruits into the terror groups.

In April 2014, Boko Haram stormed the Government Secondary School for girls in Chibok and kidnapped 276 girls. Many of them were never found despite local and international pressure.