Gunmen abduct 39 students from school in northwest Nigeria

Nigeria armed abduction

However, the military said 180 students, comprising of 132 male students, 40 female students, and eight civilian staff members of the school were rescued.

He said the Nigerian army rescued 180 people in the early hours of Friday but "about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for".

Security operatives have escorted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State to pick their belongings and vacate the premises.

It is the third mass kidnapping from a school in northern Nigeria this year and police say they are working to rescue the students.

Jamilu Abdullahi is a student at the college and told CNN he heard the attackers shooting when they arrived at around 3 am.

"It is unacceptable for parents to send their children to school only to be kidnapped by criminal elements", said Denis John, who said his brother was among those taken.

Mass kidnappings in the northwest are complicating security challenges facing President Muhammadu Buhari's security forces who are also battling a more than decade-long Islamist insurgency in the northeast.

"We were not panicking, thinking that it was a normal military exercise being conducted at the Nigerian Defence Academy", he said.

"It was only when we came out for the morning prayers in the mosque that we learnt it was gunmen who took away students from the college", he said.

The gangs are largely driven by financial motives and have no known ideological leanings.

They were eventually released after negotiations with Government officials.

"I decided that we should go out through the garage, unfortunately, on opening the door, we met one of the bandits fully armed by the side of my auto, we had to find another route and jumped into the neighbouring house".

A group of 279 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped at gunpoint have been released.

"A combined team of police, army and other security forces are in a frantic search for the kidnapped students", state police spokesperson Mohammadu Jalinge told AFP.

Kolawole Oluwadare, deputy director Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project in a statement on Friday condemned the attack calling on the Mohammadu Buhari-led government to wake-up to its responsibility of providing a safe learning environment for Nigerians at large. The government last week said 317 had been kidnapped.