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Associated Press

'Begging God to Show Us Mercy': Parents of 121 Kidnapped Nigerian Children Pray For Their Return


Praying and crying, the parents of 121 Nigerian students abducted by armed bandits at Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Kaduna state, gathered in their school on Tuesday waiting for news about their children.

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

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

Jangado added that 28 students had escaped, some by hiding in the school and others running away during the assault on the institution on Monday.

He said that they met with members of the government who promised to work to rescue the students and bring them back home.  

The desperation of some parents was palpable as they cried to God to hear their prayers.

A group of gunmen stormed the school in Damishi town early Monday, at around 2 a.m., shooting sporadically as they kidnapped dozens of students, police said.  

It's the fourth abduction of students in Kaduna state in the past six months.

There have been seven mass kidnappings of students in Nigeria so far this year.  

The abductions are being carried out by armed groups who want ransoms.

Many schools have been forced to close as authorities 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.  

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