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Gunmen abduct children from Nigeria school for 4th time in 3 months

Gunmen abduct children from Nigeria school for 4th time in 3 months
A schoolgirl attends class in the Agege district of Lagos, Nigeria, on January 22. Authorities said Friday that armed bandits targeted a school in Kaduna state late Thursday and made off with about 30 students. Almost 200 children and staff were shielded, officials said. File Photo by Akintunde Akinleye/EPA-EFE

March 12 (UPI) -- For the fourth time in the last three months, gunmen have again abducted a group of schoolchildren in northern Nigeria, authorities said Friday.

The gunmen attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna state in the northwestern part of the country, where gang violence is commonplace and schools have been targeted before.

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Officials said about 30 students at the school are unaccounted for, but nearly 200 other children and staff were protected. It wasn't immediately clear if the abducted children are boys, girls or both.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. Authorities described them as a group of armed bandits.

A few students were hurt during the attack, which is the fourth mass abduction in Nigeria since December.

Almost 300 schoolgirls were taken earlier this month from a public-run school in the remote village of Jangebe and later released; more than 40 students were abducted in Kagara in February; and Nigerian militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 300 boys in Katsina state in December. Those boys were ultimately rescued by the Nigerian military.

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Boko Haram was also behind the abduction of the "Chibok Girls" in 2014, many of whom remain missing today. In January, the parents of some of the girls said they had escaped from the militant group recently.

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