“I’m Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” stated the person within the recording. Shekau is the chief of considered one of Boko Haram’s factions.
CNN was unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the message.
The message claimed that Boko Haram had focused the college due to the group’s long-held intention to cease “western” schooling in northern Nigeria, however a authorities official advised CNN on Monday that the abductors had been in contact with a instructor of the college, elevating the prospect of a ransom negotiation.
There have been various estimates of the variety of kids kidnapped from the college. Authorities officers stated it was troublesome to precisely observe the numbers, as some kids ran away throughout the assault and others had escaped and made their approach again to villages and to the college by way of the weekend.
“Colleges needs to be a spot of security and studying however for these boys and their households, it has changed into a nightmare,” stated Shannon Ward, Save the Kids’s performing nation director in Nigeria, in an announcement on Monday. “This might have a deep influence on kids — not solely the boys who had been taken, but in addition those who needed to flee and conceal from gun violence or those that noticed what occurred.”
The kidnapping is exterior Boko Haram’s normal space of exercise. Their operations have typically targeted within the northeast of the nation, although safety analysts imagine that their attain has shifted, after a safety crackdown in that area.
There have been a number of kidnappings for ransom in Katsina State in recent times, however not on this scale.
A number of witnesses advised CNN that those that focused the college had been Fulani gunmen, an ethnic group that has been concerned in kidnappings and felony actions within the space.
Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram was behind the 2014 kidnapping of almost 300 schoolgirls in Chibok. Their captivity lasted years and most of the kids had been by no means returned after a negotiated launch.
In 2018, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram often called ISWAP kidnapped greater than 100 women in Dapchi. All however one was launched weeks later, after negotiations.
Whereas these are probably the most high-profile examples, Boko Haram has kidnapped nicely in extra of 1,000 kids since 2013, in line with UNICEF.
The United Nations strongly condemned the abductions on Sunday, and referred to as for the “speedy and unconditional launch” of the youngsters.