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One killed, many students abducted as gunmen attack school in Niger

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One person was killed and many students kidnapped when gunmen attacked Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina in Rafi local government area of Niger State on Sunday.

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The town is about 11 Kilometres from Kagara town where gunmen abducted a large number of students in February 2021.

Although the proprietor of the school, Yakubu Idris, told Premium Times that the number of the students kidnapped could not be ascertained, media reports claimed about 200 students were taken away.

The gunmen, reports said, first seized the police station in Tegina before going around the town, shooting sporadically into the air.

In mid-February, gunmen in military uniforms raided Government Science College Kagara, killing one student and taking 42 others. They included 27 schoolboys, three teachers and other relatives of school staff, officials said.

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Niger State, in north-central, Nigeria is one of the hardest-hit states by the recent spike in the rate of the mass kidnapping of students.

The state governor Abubakar Bello said in April that Boko Haram fighters have hoisted flags in about 50 communities.

Bello said the terrorists were in Kaure and Shiroro Local Government Area and have hoisted their flag there. He said he feared the terror may want to establish a base in the state.

“I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements in Niger state, around Kaure,” Bello said.

“I just heard that they’ve already hoist their flag in Kaure, which means they’ve taken over the territory and this is what I have been engaging the federal government with and unfortunately it has now gotten to this stage that if care is not taken not even Abuja is safe.”

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While lamenting on the security challenges in the state, Bello expressed concern over the manner in which the wives of the locals have been taking over by Boko Haram members.

“They’ve taken over the territory, they’ve installed their flag. I am confirming that now. They’ve taken over the wives of people by force”, he said.

“Boko Haram elements are trying to use these areas as their home just like they did in Sambisa.”

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