More than 300 girls have been abducted by gunmen from a school in Nigeria”s north-western Zamfara state.
Witnesses reported seeing the girls being forced into vehicles, whilst some fifty students managed to escape.
A joint search and rescue operation by police and the military is underway to find them.
Mamumda Inuwa works in security at the school and recounted his experience of the raid.
“As we tried to get out, we were overwhelmed and when we fired, they fired back. We continued to fight them, and all of a sudden they retreated. One of them left his motorcycle to escape. That’s when we thought we were going to defeat them. Then we were told to go home. And now, as I speak to you, soldiers are in the bush fighting with them,” he said.
It’s the latest incident to happen in the region in recent weeks – with heavily armed gangs using children for ransom.
In April 2014, jihadist group Boko Haram took 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok in Borno state. More than a hundred of the girls are still missing.
This latest attack also comes less than two weeks after gunmen abducted 42 people, including 27 students, from the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State. They are still being held.
In December last year, 344 students were also abducted from the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State but were eventually released.