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UPDATED: Bandits attack Zamfara school, abduct 73 students

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Gunmen, on Wednesday, invaded the Government Day Secondary School, Kaya, in the Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State and abducted no fewer than 73 students.

MoneyCentral gathered that the attack, which came barely five days after some students of the College of Agriculture and Animals Science, Bakura, were released, occurred around 11am when the students were sitting their examinations.

As of the time the gunmen were attacking the Kaya school, the state governor, Bello Matawalle, was attending a prayer session organised by his administration, where he called on the residents of the state to rise up and fight the bandits back.

In its reaction to the latest incident, the Arewa Consultative Forum expressed sadness over the attack and abduction of the students.

Although residents of the community said 76 students were taken away by the bandits, the police confirmed the abduction of 73 from the school in the Maradun Local Government Area, where the governor hails from.

It was learnt that the students were in their classrooms when the gunmen stormed the school and asked them to march out.

Findings indicated that some of the students managed to escape as the gunmen were taking their colleagues away.

An indigene of Kaya, Mallam Abu Kaya, who confirmed the incident to reporters, said although the number of the kidnapped students had yet to be ascertained, the victims could be more than 100.

“We have yet to ascertain the actual number of the students abducted, but we believe that they could be up to 100.”

He added that the school had a population of over 300 students and explained that the town was deserted due to the fear that the bandits could return to the area.

Abu said the gunmen came to the school on motorcycles.

“When they arrived at the school, they blocked some roads leading to the school and began to shoot indiscriminately in order to scare away residents of the town, while some moved into the school and took some of the students away,” he stated.

Bandits have continued to terrorise communities in Zamfara, a disturbing trend that made the government announce a set of new measures to check their growing activities in the state.

Last week, the government announced the restriction of fuel sales to the state capital and the headquarters of the 14 local government areas of the state.

In addition, it directed eligible filling stations not to sell fuel beyond N10,000 to a single customer while the sale of fuel in jerry cans and roadside purchases (black market) were banned.

Another stringent move by the government to tackle banditry was the suspension of all weekly markets across the state, although normal market activities of buying and selling for local consumptions were exempted.

It had also suspended the transportation of livestock to and from the state, saying the transportation of food across the state and outside Zamfara must be verified.

As officials enforce the new measures, the government had sought the support and understanding of the people, saying the new measures were not intended to hurt anyone.

Barely a week after the measures were put in place, bandits struck again as they invaded Kaya Day Secondary School.

This is the third attack on schools in Zamfara this year – coming after the incidents in Jangebe and Bakura areas of the state.

A total of 317 students were abducted from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe during an attack in February, six months before bandits kidnapped at least 20 persons comprising students and officials from the College Of Agriculture and Animal Science, Bakura.

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