140 Schoolchildren Seize by Gunmen in Kaduna state

Police in Nigeria have confirmed the kidnapping of at least 140 schoolchildren in the north-west of the country by gunmen.

At least eight people were also abducted from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre in Zaria early on Sunday morning.

Two nurses and a 12-month-old child were among those seized, a hospital worker told the BBC.

There has been a recent spate of abductions from schools and universities for ransom.

On Monday, reports emerged of another mass kidnapping from a school near Kaduna city, about 80km south-west of Zaria.

The mother of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped from Bethel Baptist School told the BBC that 140 schoolchildren had been seized by a large group of armed men who arrived on motorbikes and broke down the fence.

A total of 26 people – including a female teacher – had been rescued, the BBC has learned.

A local Christian leader said there were 180 students in the school, only 20 of whom had been accounted for so far.

However, he said some of them may have escaped.

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