Nigeria is feverishly searching for 317 girls abducted from school in Jangebe, Zamfara state, the BBC reported.
The abduction took place on Friday at 1 a.m. local time.
The gunmen infiltrated the girls' secondary school at the time.
According to BBC Haus, up to 100 gunmen were involved in the abduction.
According to local news, the kidnappers took the 12-16 year old girls to the Dangulb forest.
According to the AP, the girls are being searched by both the police and the military.
Two helicopters are also involved in the search.
Parents at a boarding school where 317 schoolchildren were abducted.Photo: Habibu Iliyasu / AFP / Lehtikuva
Nasiru Abdullah’s two daughters, aged 10 and 13, are among the missing.
- It is disappointing that the army failed to protect the girls, even though they are in strong numbers on the spot near the school, the woman told the AP.
- At the moment, we only hope for divine intervention.
Hafsat Abubakar, also interviewed by CNN, said her daughter was among the missing.
- I think he was only taken on a nightgown because I found his hijab and school uniform.
There were reportedly 421 girls in the school at the time of the attack.
Of these, only 55 have been counted.
The case has brought to mind the case of schoolchildren in Chibok.
In 2014, 276 girls were abducted in Chibok, Borno State.
Later, 57 girls managed to escape and some dozens of girls were released.
Still, about a hundred girls are still missing.
The extremist Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram announced that it was behind the abductions in Chibok.
So far, no group has reported being behind the abductions in the Yangtze River.
Dormitory from which students were taken. Image: Emma Houston / Zuma / MVphotos
Kidnappings are common, especially in the states of northwestern Nigeria.
Last week, 42 people, including 27 students, were abducted from a boarding school in the state of Niger.
They were released on Saturday, The Guardian reported.
In December, more than 300 schoolboys were abducted in Katsina State.
They, too, were eventually released.
According to Reuters, recent attacks have raised concerns about increasing violence by armed gangs and Islamist insurgents.
Boko Haram conducts kidnappings in northeastern Nigeria, as does the terrorist organization Isis.
In addition, kidnappings have been undertaken by gangs seeking to generate income through kidnappings.
According to experts, the problem is that Nigeria does not have a clear strategy to reduce abductions.
For example, the leader of the criminal gang behind the Katsina abductions surrendered to the authorities, who agreed with the man to pardon.
- The president is talking about crushing armed groups, but then some governors are speaking out in favor of dialogue and amnesty, Nnamdi Obasi, an analyst at International Crisis Group, told AFP.
In addition to schoolchildren, businessmen, authorities and ordinary citizens are abducted in the country to receive ransom money.
In Kagara, Niger State, 42 students and teachers were abducted.
They were told they were released on Saturday. Photo: AFOLABI SOTUNDE / Reuters