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Hundreds of Nigerian school kids abducted in broad daylight

Kaduna

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J-P Mauro - published on 03/14/24

With no word from the abductors, the bishops are calling on the state to identify the kidnappers and save the hostages.

The remote town of Kuriga, in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, is still reeling after dozens of armed extremists kidnapped hundreds of students out of their classes in broad daylight on the morning of March 7. Worried parents are now calling for government intervention, after days without any word from the abductors. As of March 13, the children have yet to be found. 

The AP reports that at least 287 students were abducted – with about 100 of them aged 12 or under – making it one of the largest kidnappings since the 2014 abduction of the Chibok girls, when 275 girls were taken from their school by Boko Haram.

The parallels between the two kidnappings have created more worry for parents, as even to this day nearly 100 of the Chibok girls remain missing. 

The March 7 kidnapping saw children taken from the school just as the day was starting, at around 8 a.m.. They were herded into the forest. It took authorities several hours to respond to the scene and begin a search operation, but it is unclear how deep into the forest the kidnappers went.

At the time of this article’s publication, there has been no contact with the criminal group, which remains unidentified.

Locals have suggested that the abductors belong to a group of bandits who have been terrorizing remote villages in Nigeria’s northwest and central regions.

Bishop Wilfred Anagbe of Makurdi has called on the government to intercede on behalf of the Christian population, which he said is being targeted by these attacks. Bishop Anagbe told OSV: 

“The kidnappings, killings and destroying churches we are experiencing every day are aimed at finishing Christians. We are worried that despite such killings and kidnappings, the government has never arrested anyone.”

“As a church, we now demand that the government act quickly to stop these vices that continue to dishearten people.”

Nigeria is one of the places of most intense suffering for Christians in our day. Follow the situation here, to read both the inspiring testimonies of Nigerian Catholics, and the deplorable situation they face.

Tags:
AfricaCRIMENigeriaPersecution of Christians
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