Nigerian soldiers (illustrative image).
Audu Marte / AFP
At least 333 teenagers have been reported missing since the attack on their high school in Katsina state, Nigeria.
On Tuesday, Abubakar Shekau, leader of the jihadist group of Boko Haram claimed responsibility for their kidnapping in a propaganda voice message.
"I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina," announces the leader, who was responsible for the kidnapping of 276 high school girls in Chibok in 2014, triggering a wave of global outrage.
Schools in the region have been closed
Over a hundred armed men on motorcycles attacked this rural school located in the town of Kankara during the night from Friday to Saturday.
Hundreds of teenagers fled into the bush to hide there.
This kidnapping was initially attributed to armed groups, called "bandits" who terrorize the populations in this unstable region where kidnappings for ransom have become commonplace.
This claim marks an extremely important turning point in the spread of the influence of jihadist groups in northwestern Nigeria, hundreds of kilometers from their territory, located in the northeast of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack and ordered the strengthening of security in all schools.
In Katsina State, schools have closed.
The army said Monday it had located "the hideout of the bandits", adding that a military operation was underway.
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