“I’m Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” mentioned the person within the recording. Shekau is the chief of certainly 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” training in northern Nigeria, however a authorities official instructed CNN on Monday that the abductors had been in contact with a trainer 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 mentioned it was troublesome to precisely observe the numbers, as some kids ran away through the assault and others had escaped and made their method again to villages and to the college via the weekend.
“Faculties needs to be a spot of security and studying however for these boys and their households, it has became a nightmare,” mentioned Shannon Ward, Save the Kids’s appearing nation director in Nigeria, in an announcement on Monday. “This might have a deep impression 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 outdoors Boko Haram’s ordinary space of exercise. Their operations have typically centered within the northeast of the nation, although safety analysts consider 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 instructed 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 practically 300 schoolgirls in Chibok. Their captivity lasted years and lots of the kids had been by no means returned after a negotiated launch.
In 2018, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram referred to as ISWAP kidnapped greater than 100 ladies in Dapchi. All however one was launched weeks later, after negotiations.
Whereas these are essentially the most high-profile examples, Boko Haram has kidnapped properly in extra of 1,000 kids since 2013, in accordance with UNICEF.
The United Nations strongly condemned the abductions on Sunday, and known as for the “fast and unconditional launch” of the youngsters.