Armed men suspected to be bandits have invaded Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing a security guard and kidnapping some students, Saharareporters has learnt.
This happened barely a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in his home state of Katsina for a week-long private visit.
Kankara is about 150km from the state capital, Katsina, which is President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state. Buhari is currently in Daura.
A resident of the state told SaharaReporters that the bandits stormed the school at 10:45 pm on Friday, shooting sporadically for over an hour.
Malam Umaru Kabiru, a resident of the area who also went to the school to search for his two brothers, said those missing “could be more than 100.”
“Parents and caregivers and many people in Katsina lamented that they couldn’t find their children,” the source told SaharaReporters on the phone.
It was gathered that a headcount is ongoing at the school, to ascertain the exact number of the missing students.
Another resident told SaharaReporters that the gunmen reportedly abducted over 200 students.
“They killed a policeman; they killed a security guard and two students. About 200 students were also taken away,” he claimed.
There was panic in the community as parents and caregivers besieged the school.
“We saw a military helicopter hovering over the area. Parents have besieged the school, and many of the students are missing. We can’t say for sure how many were kidnapped as some of the students might have run into the bush,” a resident told SaharaReporters.
Punch reports that one of the policemen, who was said to have been wounded on the leg, is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in the Kankara town.
It was learnt that the bandits gained access to the staff quarters where they abducted the wife of an employee in the school before they stormed the students’ hostel and abducted an unspecified number of students.
Military sources disclosed that troops of the Nigerian Army later arrived at the school to confront the bandits and the bandits absconded with some of the students in the process.
The Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident but could not disclose the exact number of students abducted.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Saturday morning, Isah said, “We are still taking the headcount of the students. Maybe no student was even abducted as some of the students had to escape from the school during the gun duel. So, I cannot give you the exact number of students abducted for now.”
Senior staff at the school equally said the headcount of the students were being taken as of the time of filing this report.
The staff, who pleaded for anonymity, added that parents of wards have rushed to the school to know the fate of their children.
Kankara is among the eighth frontline local governments that are most affected by insecurity in Katsina State, despite heavy security checkpoints stationed in the area.