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Bandits raid health center in Nigeria, abduct infants, staff

Gunmen believed to be bandits abducted some 10 people, including infants, from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre in northwestern Nigeria, officials said on Monday.

Also abducted from the residential quarters of the hospital in Zaria in the Kaduna State were five staffers, including female nurses.

Mohammed Jalige, a police spokesman, said efforts are underway to rescue the victims.

The bandits, who were said to have attacked in large numbers, engaged officers from a nearby police station in a gun battle, he said.

The attackers were said to have blocked the bridge linking the facility to the city of Zaria to thwart the police from getting involved.

Maryam Abdulrazaq, public relations officer of the Medical and Health Union of the Center, said she compiled six names of those abducted, and is looking to get four additional names for 10 people abducted total.

The abducted include the principal security guard on duty, two nurses, and a lab technician, she said.

This was third time staff members were abducted, she added.

High school kidnapping

Shortly after the abduction of healthcare workers, perhaps dozens of students were abducted early Monday by suspected bandits at Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria.

The high school is dominated by Christian students. The gunmen reportedly stormed the school premises, shooting sporadically as they abducted the students.

Police spokesman Jalije told Anadolu Agency that the abduction happened at about 2 a.m. local time.

John Hayab, a father of a boy who was among Kaduna school students attacked earlier by bandits, said there were 180 boarding students at the school.

Saying that “a lot” of students were taken, he added that a head count is needed to get an exact number.

“I’m just speechless, I don’t know what to say. My son was among the students who narrowly escaped,” Hayab added, calling it a “very sad” situation.

Hayab, also chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Anadolu Agency that so far, 26 students had returned and he was hopeful that more would escape from the bandits.

The police also confirmed the incident, saying 17 students had been rescued.

This is the fourth mass abduction in Kaduna in the last six months.

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