The Kaduna State government has said the Nigerian Army has rescued 172 pupils and eight others kidnapped by gunmen in the state on Friday.

A statement issued by the state Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said 42 female students, 130 male students and eight staff members were rescued by the troops.

He, however, added that about 30 pupils were still unaccounted for.

The pupils were abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in the Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

But according to the commissioner, about 30 male and female students have yet to be accounted for.

The statement said, “Troops of the Nigerian Army in the early hours of today, Friday, 12th March 2021 rescued 180 citizens, many of them students, at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.

“The armed bandits in large numbers had attacked the institution at around 11:30 pm on Thursday and kidnapped several students and staff.

“The armed bandits broke into the institution by breaching a perimeter fence. They then encroached about 600 meters to attack the first facility.

“The Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, on receiving a distress call, alerted the 1 Division Nigerian Army and the Air Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force.

“Troops of the Nigerian Army immediately moved to the school and engaged the armed bandits accordingly.

“The troops successfully rescued 180 citizens; 42 female students, eight staff and 130 male students. However, about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.

“Some of the rescued students were injured and presently receiving medical attention at a military facility.

“Pictures of some of the rescued persons, and the broken perimeter fence, are attached to this update.

“Receiving the report, Governor Nasir El-Rufai thanked the troops for their swift response and the rescue of the 180 citizens. He also wished the injured students a speedy recovery.

“As at the time of this update, a combined team of Army, Air Force, Police and DSS troops are conducting an operation to track the missing students.

“Citizens will be updated on emerging developments.”

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