A source who was at the school premises had said hundreds of students may have been abducted, as “600 students were unaccounted for after headcount, with several parents panicking in the school premises.”
DW Hausa reports that over 2,000 parents trooped to the school Saturday morning to check if their kids are safe.
The armed men were said to have invaded the area and shot sporadically into the air to disperse the crowd around 11:30pm on Friday, same day Nigerian President Muhammadu Buahri paid his first visit to Katsina, where he hails from.
Isah Gambo, spokesman of the state police command, confirmed the incident, but told ARISE News that many students escaped through the school fence, while policemen exchanged fire with the suspected bandits.
He noted that no death was recorded while more than 200 students had been found as of Saturday morning, adding that further search is ongoing to locate others.
Mr. Gambo further said that: “The true situation is that yesterday, around 11:30pm, we heard a report that bandits in their numbers armed with their AK-47 rifles attacked Government School, Kankara and they were shooting sporadically,” he said.
“We have our men guarding the school, so there was an exchange of fire in a gun duel. That gave the students an opportunity to escape. Many of them scaled through the fence of the school. One of our inspectors sustained gun shot injury, reinforcement was drafted and the DPO led an armoured personnel carrier (APC) team.
“While we were exchanging fire with the bandits, they were retreating into the forest. This morning, the DPO called and said he has found over 200 of the students that escaped. Search parties are still rallying into the town and nearby farms in order to get the students that escaped from the school.
“We are still counting the numbers in order to know those that are missing. It’s too early to ascertain at this particular time whether these bandits were able to kidnap any of the students.
“Counting is still ongoing, because the students had the opportunity of scaling the fence for safety. Later on, we will be able to confirm if some students were kidnapped because they will call to demand ransom in their usual way.”
By Abel Ejikeme