Armed ViolenceNews

Nigeria Deploys Air, Ground Forces In Search Of Abducted School Boys

Nigerian Army has deployed ground and aerial forces in search of the secondary school boys abducted Friday night by some terrorists from their school, the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, northwest Nigeria, according to Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson.

The Nigerian Air Force, a few years ago commissioned the 213 Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Katsina and the Quick Response Wing (QRW) Daura.

These units play a role in the counter banditry and terror operations. 

The Airbase in Katsina town will support combat, surveillance and logistics flights in search of the boys. 

HumAngle reported that a group of armed terrorists locally known as bandits on Friday stormed Kankara town and proceeded to the Government Boys’ Science Secondary School.

The terrorists came on motorcycles and fired multiple rounds from their assault rifles forcing residents and students to flee. 

Hundreds of students are believed to have been abducted, authorities are still conducting headcounts and asking parents to provide more information. 

The incident in Kankara happened about 60 kilometres from the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp 4 in Faskari Town. 

Kankara and other parts of Katsina state such as Faskari, Dandume, Batsari, Safana, Kankara, Sabuwa, Dan-Musa, Matazu and Jibia have come under intense attacks from criminals and terrorist groups. 

An area of interest for security forces according to a statement released by Shehu on Saturday is the Zango/Pauwa forest in Kankara.

The Zango- Pauwa forest comprises of thick savannah vegetation and the Pauwa hills are located along the fringes of dreaded Dajin Rugu. 

The interconnected nature of the forest areas within affected states and parts of Niger Republic provides the terror groups with harbour areas for keeping victims, avoiding security forces and moving across the states. 

In September, the Nigerian Army extended the timeline and area of responsibility of its operation Sahel Sanity against armed groups. 

A new directive extended the operation to December and widened the scope to the northwest and northcentral part of the country.

What started as cattle rustling and low-intensity conflict between Fulani herders and Hausa farmers in Northwestern Nigeria, turned into extrajudicial killings, vicious cycle revenge attacks, kidnapping and creation of militant groups.

The kidnapping and attacks subsequently spread from rural areas to towns and highways.

The violence and jihadists infiltration has led to attacks on communities and travellers.

The International Crisis Group reports that the violence has killed over 8,000 people since 2011, and displaced over 200,000, some into the neighbouring Niger Republic.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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