Nigerians anxious after 330 boys kidnapped by extremists

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KANKARA, Nigeria (AP) – Anger, fear and exhaustion. Anxiety has engulfed many parents in the village of Kankara in northern Nigeria, who await news of their sons, who are among more than 330 abducted by extremists from a government boys’ school last week.

They remained hopeful as Katsina state governor Aminu Bello Masari said 17 boys had been rescued since the attack, including 15 by the military, another by police and a boy found. wandering in the forest which had been brought in by residents.

Boko Haram jihadist rebels in Nigeria have claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of students from the government science high school in Kankara. Hundreds of other students managed to escape by jumping the fence during the extremist attack or by fleeing as they were taken to the nearby forest.

Boko Haram abducted the boys from school because they believe Western education is not Islamic, rebel leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video claiming responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group .

The Nigerian government is in talks with the attackers with the aim of freeing the boys, government spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement. However, he did not identify the attackers whom the government had previously labeled as bandits.

Aminu Ma’le, whose child was one of 17 who regained their freedom, said: “I thank God for miraculously helping us and I pray for the safety of the other children still missing or in captivity.” His son was found wandering in the bush by the military, he said.

Parents say they are tired of waiting for the situation in the north, home of President Muhammadu Buhari, to improve.

“I can’t measure my anger now,” said Marwa Hamza Kankara, camping outside the school Tuesday night after hearing about her son. “No woman wants to be outside at this hour, but we can’t sleep, we can’t eat, because of our missing children.”

Hamza says all of the missing belong to Nigeria. “I not only cry for my child, but I cry for all children,” she said.

When armed patrols pass, parents outside of school momentarily gain hope of having found their sons.

All over Nigeria, people are closely following the plight of the kidnapped boys and many criticize the government for the continued extremist violence.

“No one is happy with the insecurity in the country. Even the children are afraid to be in present-day Nigeria because of the insecurity, ”said Syvester Anachike, 58, who sells newspapers in Abuja. “Imagine, the children were kidnapped in the presidential state! It is unfair. It’s not good.”

Friday’s kidnapping has become a rallying cry for Nigerians who are fed up with the ongoing extremist violence. #BringBackOurBoys is trendy Twitter as people express their frustrations and return to 2014 when the #BringBackOurGirls campaign became an international rallying cry for girls kidnapped from a government boarding school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria.

“One thing that seems obvious about the security challenge is that there is no fair play and transparency on the part of the leaders,” said Chiroma Shibu, member of the National Youth Assembly. from Nigeria, a non-profit organization created by students and other young people. from all over the country.

Salisu Masi, who has two sons among those kidnapped, said he was troubled by claims that Boko Haram was behind the kidnapping. “It’s very worrying,” he told The Associated Press.

A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by the Nigerian police, air force and military after the military engaged in shootings with bandits after …

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