Gunmen disguised as soldiers have abducted four students from their dormitory at a Catholic seminary in northern Nigeria, police said, the latest incident targeting schools in the region. The attackers raided the Good Shepherd Catholic Major Seminary outside the city of Kaduna in the early hours of Thursday, the regional police force said in a statement.
“The (police) command received a distress call…that some armed men in military camouflage gained entry into the Good Shepherd Major Seminary school and started shooting sporadically,” the statement released Thursday said. Police said officers deployed to the school to protect the roughly 270 students there but the assailants managed to take four of them to an “unknown destination”.
School head Joel Usman said the students were “confirmed missing” after teachers conducted a headcount with security personnel. The kidnappers were yet to make contact with the school or families of the hostages, Usman said. The seminary is situated along the highway linking Kaduna with Nigeria’s capital Abuja in an area notorious for criminal gangs kidnapping travellers for ransom.
In October last year, gunmen seized six schoolgirls and two staff members from a privately-run boarding school close to the same highway. Days later the head of a public boarding college was kidnapped from his residence by an armed gang. All the hostages were later released but it was not clear whether the ransom demands of their kidnappers were met.