İrem UZUN -TDO- In Nigeria, up to 300 school girls are missing after gunmen raided a boarding school in the northwestern state of Zamfara, with the exact number of abducted children and other details still unclear. The attack comes one week after a raid on a school in north-central Nigeria, where one student was killed, and 42 people were kidnapped and are still being held hostage. 

The schoolgirls were taken from their hostels by gunmen, a high-ranking government official told CNN. A police officer was killed in the attack, according to the source. "They came on about 20 motorcycles and they marched the abducted girls into the forest," the source said. "The bandits arrived around 1.45 am. and they operated 'til about 3 am. The sad part is that there's a military checkpoint that is about four minutes away from the school," he added. About 500 students are normally at the school, of whom around 315 were taken by the gunmen. Others managed to flee and return to their hostels, the source said.

The UN children's agency UNICEF said it was “angered and saddened” by yet another mass abduction of students in Nigeria describing it as brutal and a violation of children's rights. The charity Save the Children also said it was “horrified” about the news of the abductions.  “It is unacceptable that attacks on schools and students has become a recurring scenario in Northern Nigeria,” said Mercy Gichuhi, charity’s Nigeria director. Amnesty International Nigeria calls the abductions as “a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

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