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Islamic Terror Group Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Kidnapping 300+ Nigerian Students

Children ride on bicycles past a wall broken by Boko Haram who kidnapped students from their school (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Children ride on bicycles past a wall broken by Boko Haram who kidnapped students from their school (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

The radical Islamic group, Boko Haram is holding hundreds of schoolchildren captive in Nigeria.

Gunmen attacked a government-run secondary school last week and abducted more than 300 students.

The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau took credit for the attack, indicating that the children were being punished for "un-Islamic practices".

Following the attack, police engaged in a shootout with assailants, which allowed some of the students to run for cover by jumping over a nearby fence.

Nigerian forces, aided by American drones are searching for the children.

In a series of tweets from Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the location of the children has been identified and the government is negotiating with the terrorists for their safe return. 

"President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Daura, Katsina State, received more briefing on children kidnapped from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, with an assurance from Governor Aminu Bello Masari of steady progress to bring them out unharmed."

Meanwhile, parents are overwhelmed with fear and anxiety over the welfare of their children.

"There's no way I can measure my anger now," said parent Marwa Hamza Kankara as she awaits word of her son. "No woman wants to be outside at this hour but we cannot sleep, we cannot eat, because of our missing children."  

"I am not only crying for my child but I am crying for all the children," she added. 

Salish Masi said two of his sons are still missing and he is anxious for an update from authorities.  

"I am worried that after three days I have no news about my children," he told The Associated Press. "I have been waiting for the authorities to tell me what happened but till now, they have said nothing."

And people throughout West Africa, who are following this tragic incident, have condemned the government for allowing this extreme violence to persist.

"Nobody is happy about the insecurity in the country. Even kids are afraid of being in present Nigeria because of insecurity," said Syvester Anachike, who works in Abuja. "Just imagine, the children been abducted in the president's state! It is unfair. It's not good."   

The kidnappings have proven once again that educational institutions are still targets for radical Islamic terrorists in Nigeria.

"Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life," Isa Sanusi of Amnesty International said on Wednesday. "Other children have had to abandon their education after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities, and many teachers have been forced to flee to other states."

Six years ago, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, prompting a global campaign for their safe return. Sadly, the whereabouts of more than 100 of them is still unknown.

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