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Published On: Wed, Apr 16th, 2014

Gunmen kidnap 200 school girls in Borno

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Gunmen_03From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

More than 100 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Chibok local government area of Borno state were abducted on Monday night when suspected Boko Haram insurgents carried out multiple attacks in the town.

The actual number of students abducted by the gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect could not be ascertained as sources were giving conflicting figures.

While some claimed that about 103 of the students were kidnapped, others maintained that about 136 of the girls were actually abducted.

The sect, according to sources, attacked Chibok town, about141 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital city around 10pm burning down houses and shops, before proceeding to the school.

The kidnapped students, who were in their final year, were part of the 250 students sitting for the ongoing WAEC/SSCE examinations.

The latest spate of violence rocking the troubled Borno state came barely four days after another set of the insurgents stormed Government Secondary School, Dikwa and killed eight teachers.

Our correspondent reported that when the security challenges worsened in some parts of the state, final year students in some local government areas of northern billed to write WAEC were relocated to Maiduguri.

Sources said heavily armed gunmen driven in several vehicles and bikes have laid siege on the town for over five hours.

The gunmen came when residents were sleeping but were woken up by horrifying sounds of explosives and gunshots. The onslaught begun around 10pm and lasted till 3am.

“Hundreds of houses, shops, schools, government offices and other structures were burnt to ashes”, another resident said.

“Many girls were abducted by the rampaging gunmen who stormed the school in a convoy of vehicles.The gunmen came in many vehicles and on motorcycles and headed to the school where they overpowered soldiers deployed to guard.”

Though soldiers had been deployed to provide extra security ahead of yearly exams, the gunmen “subdued them and took the girls away”, a resident who declined identification told newsmen on phone.

Details on the casualty recorded in the attack were not available as at press time but residents said the invaders had allegedly carted away assorted food items and vehicles, before setting the town on fire.

The insurgents, who were said to have a field day without resistance from security forces, raided the school and proceeded to the students’ hostels.

It was further learnt that the invaders snatched several vehicles which they used to kidnap the students.

It was also gathered that many residents of the town have fled into the bushes while others escsped to Damboa.

When contacted, the Borno state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Lawan Tanko said he heard about the incident and has sent his men to the scene.

He however said he could not give further details as at the time of filing this report.

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