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Bandits abduct WAEC Students in Kaduna, kill one, set Church ablaze

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Bandits suspected to be armed Fulani militia have on Monday reportedly killed one, abducted a number of students and set a church ablaze n Kaduna state.

Eyewitness said the bandits invaded Prince Academy Damba-Kasaya in Kunai ward of Chikun local government area and abducted the students, who were preparing for junior WAEC examination at the time.

The bandits, who allegedly rode on motorcycles, arrived the community at about 7:45am and started shooting sporadically into the air and abducted the students for an operation that lasted 45 minutes.

Eyewitness said the numbers of students abducted (alongside some villagers) were yet to be identified. It was, however, gathered that the students were there to write the Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE). 

A villager, Mr Bawa Wakili, who confirmed the incident, said he was riding on a motorcycle when he sighted the gunmen from afar heading into the community and quickly raised alarm.

He said the gunmen went straight to the school and took away with some students before they also abducted some villagers.

Mr Wakili said a Church, Aminchi Baptist Church Damba-Kasaya, was also set ablaze by the gunmen. As at the time of filing this report, one person was confirmed killed, while others sustained gunshot injuries.

“The suspected Fulani militia also went away with some motorcycles belonging to the villagers.

“When the attack started, the military came in and were even trailing the attackers but withdrew along the way for reasons best known to them, leaving us to our fate.” a youth leader, who prefers to be anonymous, revealed.

The federal government had only recently reopened schools across the country to enable graduating students in secondary schools sit for their final exams. This prompted the reopening of schools in Kaduna state as well.

Chikun Local Government has come under series of Fulani herdsmen attacks lately with several people either kidnapped for ransom or killed, and many communities have been displaced.

Kaduna state has been on the news since 2015 as the headquarters of kidnappings and banditry where no fewer than 366 villagers have been killed between January and July, 2020 alone, according to Amnesty International.

The Kaduna state government has been widely criticized for what many believed to be a result of poor handling of the lingering security challenges in the state.

Contacted, the police public relations officer, PPRO, Kaduna Police Command, Muhammad Jalige, could not respond till time of filing this report. 

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