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Parents of kidnapped Nigerian students pray to God for their return

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AP Photo/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


It was an almost deserted premises at the Bethel Baptist High School in Nigeria’s northwest on Tuesday.

Parents of the abducted students stormed one of the classrooms in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state to pray and cry out to God for the return of their wards.

According to Reverend Ishaya Jangado, Head of the Kaduna Baptist Conference that manages the school, the abductors made contact with him on Tuesday.

He said he was allowed to talk with some students who confirmed that they were unharmed, and that the number of pupils abducted was 121.

"The total number of students that we recovered yesterday were 28 and today, by the grace of God, we had (received) a call from the bandits. They assured that our children are well, and they are OK. In fact, we had the privilege to speak with a few of them (the kids), they counted themselves in the jungle, and they gave us information that they are 121", Jangado said.

Jangado said that they met with government officials who promised to work to rescue the students and bring them back home.

A group of gunmen stormed the school in Damishi town early Monday, shooting sporadically as they kidnapped dozens of students, police said.

This latest abduction of students is the fourth in Kaduna state in the past six months alone. So far this year, there have been seven mass kidnappings of students in Nigeria.

The abductions are being carried out by armed groups who want ransoms. Many schools have been forced to close as officials are unable to adequately protect them.

The spate of mass abductions from schools in Nigeria has grown significantly since 2014 when members of the jihadi rebels Boko Haram abducted 276 female students from a government school in Chibok in northeastern Borno State.