Gunmen have kidnapped seven students along with their female teacher from a secondary school in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna state, killing a vigilante and vandalizing a church, residents said Tuesday.
The attackers on 20 motorcycles stormed Damba-Kasaya village Monday morning, shooting indiscriminately, they said.
“The gunmen arrived around 8:00 am (0700 GMT) and went into the Prince Academy where they took away the seven students and their teacher who was coaching them for their upcoming senior class exams,” resident Silas Adamu told AFP.
The gunmen raided deserted homes, stealing money and personal effects while the residents fled into cornfields, said another resident Iliya Bawa who confirmed the abduction.
“We don’t know where they took the hostages, they have not made any contact. We hope they don’t harm them,” he said.
The attackers broke into a church and vandalized musical instruments before soldiers arrived in the village, forcing them to flee.
A local vigilante was killed in a gunfight as the soldiers and a local protection force pursued the attackers, the two sources said.
The police were not immediately available for comment on the incident.
Kaduna has seen an upsurge in kidnapping for ransom by criminal gangs, especially along the 180-kilometer (110-mile) highway linking the city with the nation’s capital Abuja where motorists are seized at gunpoint and only released after ransom payments.
In October last year, gunmen kidnapped six girls and two staff from a boarding school near the highway.
They were later released, but it was not clear if ransom was paid.