In Nigeria, armed men have once again kidnapped dozens of pupils. In Kaya, in the northwest of the African country, they kidnapped 73 high school students, says local police.
According to a Zamfara State police spokesman, a rescue operation started after the Government Day Secondary School was attacked in the remote village. Whether pupils have actually been liberated is not known. A school employee tells Reuters news agency that 500 pupils are in the school.
Schoolchildren kidnappings are much more common in Nigeria: since December last year, more than a thousand pupils in the northwest of the country have been kidnapped.
Zamfara is one of four states that have taken measures to tackle the security crisis. For example, the sale of fuel in jerrycans and the transport of firewood by truck is prohibited. The state hopes to make gangs difficult to travel by motorbike and camp in forests.
The kidnappers usually demand a high amount of ransom. “Its a profitable business in a country where many young people are poor, unemployed and hungry,” Nigerian professor of political science Ernest Ereke said earlier to AP news agency. “The state, which should address the criminals, is actually helping them by meeting their demands.”
In most cases, students are eventually released, but news agency AP reports stories of children who died or were murdered in captivity.