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The Quiet Storm

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Security forces open fire as violence mars safe return of girls kidnapped from Nigerian school

Written by on 04/03/2021

Security forces opened fire as violence marred the safe return of 279 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by bandits from their school.

The girls had been undergoing lengthy medical checks and treatment following their safe release on Tuesday, having been abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe town.

But anxious and angry parents, left frustrated by the drawn-out procedures, burst into the school and grabbed their children to take them home.

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Nigerian schoolgirls were beaten with guns

Witnesses saw security forces firing tear gas and soldiers shooting into the air as stones were thrown at government officials.

One person died and two were injured in the mayhem, according to local media reports.

Authorities in the country’s Zamfara state were forced to declare a curfew and shut markets.

Zamfara state spokesman Sulaiman Tunau Anka described events as “unfortunate civil disobedience”, adding: “The state government is poised to ensure safety of lives and properties of its citizens at all cost.”

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The Jangebe abduction was the third mass school kidnapping in northern Nigeria since December.

The girls, who were kidnapped last week, said they were forced to march through stones and thorns and were repeatedly hit with guns if they could not keep up.

Umma Abubakar said: “Most of us got injured on our feet and we could not continue trekking, so they said they will shoot anybody who did not continue to walk.”

Some of the kidnapped girls seen after their release
Image: Joy at the release of the girls turned sour as protests broke out

A total of 344 boys were taken from a school in neighbouring Katsina State in December, then freed after a week.

On Saturday, gunman released 27 teenage boys who were abducted from their school in the central state of Niger.

The kidnappings for ransom are the latest manifestation of years of festering banditry that has rendered large swathes of
northwest Nigeria lawless.

 Sky News

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