More Than 300 Girls Kidnapped in Latest Nigerian School Abduction

Gunmen kidnapped 317 girls from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria, police said Friday, the latest in a rising tide of high-school abductions across Africa’s most populous nation, where kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative industry.

Dozens of armed militants broke into the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Zamfara state at around 1 a.m. Friday and began shooting before packing schoolgirls onto vehicles or walking them toward the nearby Rugu forest, which spreads over three states and hundreds of miles.

By morning, parents and community leaders were tallying the number of people missing. The Zamfara police said security forces, backed by reinforcements, were in pursuit of the abductors.

Samaila Umar was one of the parents who awoke to the sound of gunfire, but by the time he could reach the school campus the militants had abducted his 15-year-old daughter and 14-year-old niece.

“I couldn’t get to there to save her because the kidnappers were shooting everywhere,” he said. “The government must do all in its powers to bring back our daughters.”

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