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UPDATE 1-Nigerian military in firefight with gang who kidnapped students

GlobalDec 12, 2020 19:36
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(Recasts, adds president and additional police comment)
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The Nigerian military
had located and exchanged fire with gunmen who kidnapped scores
of secondary school students in northwestern Katsina state,
according to a statement from the president on Saturday.
The gang, armed with AK-47s, stormed the Government Science
secondary school in Kankara district at about 9:40 p.m. on
Friday, police and locals said. A parent and school employee
told Reuters that roughly half of the school's 800 students were
missing.
President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that the
military had located the kidnappers in a forest and was
exchanging fire with them, aided by air support.
In the statement, Buhari condemned the attack in his home
state. Police and the military were still working to determine
how many were kidnapped and missing.
Police at the scene on Friday exchanged fire with the
attackers, allowing some students to run for safety, police
spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement.
Police said they would deploy additional forces to support
the search and rescue. One officer was shot and wounded in the
exchange of fire with the gang, they said.
Katsina is plagued by violence the government attributes to
bandits - a loose term for gangs of outlaws who attack locals
and kidnap for ransom. Attacks by Islamist militants are common
in northeastern parts of the country.
Violence and insecurity across Nigeria have enraged
citizens, particularly after scores of farmers were killed, some
beheaded, by Islamist militants in northeast Borno state late
last month. Buhari, who arrived on Friday for a week in his home village
some 200 km (125 miles) from Kankara, was scheduled to brief the
national assembly on the security situation last week, but
cancelled the appearance without official explanation.

UPDATE 1-Nigerian military in firefight with gang who kidnapped students
 

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