Armed men on Saturday ambushed students of an Islamic school (Islamiyya) in Katsina during a celebration and abducted 80 of them.
The kidnap occurred in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina.
Residents said the kidnap occurred around 11:20 p.m. at Mahuta community while the victims, mostly young girls, were on a procession celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.
The development is coming less than a week after 344 school children were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in the state. The students were released on Thursday after negotiations between the government and the kidnappers.
Many residents told PREMIUM TIMES that following the latest incident, members of vigilante groups in the area and security officials responded swiftly and engaged the gunmen leading to the rescue of most of the victims.
However, it is not yet clear if the gunmen went away with some victims, although the police said all were rescued.
The police in Katsina said they foiled the kidnap attempt following distress calls. They said all the victims were rescued and 12 rustled cows also freed.
The Katsina police spokesperson, Gambo Isah, said the students are from Hizburrahim Islamiyya in Mahuta village. He said there were 80 students kidnapped.
He said they were abducted while on their way back from the Maulud occasion celebrated at Unguwan Alkasim village, Dandume, when they were accosted by the bandits who had already kidnapped four persons and rustled 12 cows from Danbaure village, Funtua LGA, and were trying to escape into the forest.
“On receipt of the report, the DPO led Operations Puff Adder, Sharan Daji and Vigilante group to the area and engaged the bandits into a fierce gun duel. Subsequently, the teams succeeded in dislodging the bandits and rescued all the eighty four (84) kidnapped victims and recovered all the twelve rustled cows.”
“Search parties are still combing the area with a view of arresting the injured bandits and/or recovery of their dead bodies. Investigation is ongoing,” the police spokesperson said.