Boko Haram on Tuesday claimed the abduction of hundreds of students in northwestern Nigeria, in what would be its first attack in the region since it launched a jihadist uprising more than a decade ago
Boko Haram and its rival, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, have until now waged an insurgency in the northeast of the country and neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, killing thousands and displacing millions of people.
Local authorities said late Monday that the abductors responsible for Friday’s attack “made contacts with the government.”
“Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families,” the governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, said on Twitter.
The army said over the weekend that it had located the gunmen’s enclave and that a military operation was under way.
On Tuesday, dozens of aggrieved parents thronged the deserted streets of Kankara, a sleepy town in the state of Katsina, confused and in shock after Boko Haram claimed it took their children.
Clustered inside the school compound and nearby, under palm, mango and tamarind trees, one father told AFP his hopes of a swift release were now weakened.
“The news that our children were kidnapped by Boko Haram has destroyed whatever hope I had of seeing my son soon,” said Ahmad, who gave only his first name to protect his child’s identity.
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