The #BringBackOurBoys is trending on social media in Nigeria following the latest attack and mass kidnapping at a school. More than 300 pupils are still missing on Monday morning after gunmen attacked the secondary school in Kankara, a town in Nigeria’s northwestern Katsina state.
Attackers on motorcycles stormed the all-boys government science school late on Friday and started a gunfight with security forces. Hundreds of pupils scaled fences and ran into the surrounding forest.
Anxious parents are waiting for news of their children’s whereabouts as search and rescue operations continue.
The government said troops had surrounded an area in Katsina where gunmen were believed to be holding schoolchildren hostage. President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said 10 children were reportedly being held captive while more than 300 boys remained unaccounted for.
It’s understood the attackers are trying to secure ransoms. The government has blamed the attack on bandits – a loose term for gangs operating in the area. International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said she was hopeful the boys would be found unharmed.
“We sincerely hope that the early successes of the Nigerian government have indicated will identify some of the kidnappers and this will lead to the return of those children.”
This latest attack comes just six years after 276 girls were kidnapped from their Chibob dormitory. At the time, the hashtag #BringBackourGirls was circulated widely around the world. However, about 100 of those girls are still missing.