Lagos, March 2, 2016 (AFP) – Nigerian police were on Wednesday hunting three girls who were abducted by armed men from their school on the outskirts of the country’s biggest city, Lagos. The abduction of students from school is rare in Lagos, Nigeria’s sprawling megacity of 20 million people and the country’s commercial hub. “A serious rescue mission for the three students is ongoing. We have launched a manhunt for the abductors and we are making a headway,” Lagos state police spokeswoman Dolapo Badmus told AFP.
In Nigeria’s northeast, Boko Haram Islamists infamously abducted 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April 2014. Fifty-seven escaped in the days that followed but 219 are still being held. Several thousand women and young girls have been captured since the start of the insurgency in 2009. No group yet has claimed responsibility for the latest abduction in Lagos and the exact motive is unknown. But kidnapping for ransom by armed criminals in southern states is common.
Police spokesman Badmus said the kidnapping happened on Monday in the eastern suburb of Ikorodu at the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, which is a popular choice for wealthier Nigerians. The gunmen were said to have broken a portion of the secondary school’s fence to gain access to the grounds before taking away the girls.
School uniforms and wrist watches purportedly belonging to the abducted girls were later found in bushes around the school. “We are working discretely in carrying out our mission and we are hopeful to succeed,” Badmus said. The ages of the girls were not given.
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