287 pupils are kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria

It was the second mass kidnapping in the West African country in less than a week when gunmen stormed a school in the northwest of the country on Thursday, reportedly abducting at least 287 kids, according to the headmaster who spoke to police.

Northern Nigeria has a high rate of school kidnappings, which gained attention after Islamic militants abducted over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok village in Borno State in 2014. The majority of kidnappings in recent years have occurred in the northwest and central areas, where dozens of armed groups often target visitors and villages for large ransoms.

Locals informed The Associated Press that the attackers encircled the government-owned school in Kuriga town, Kaduna State, on Thursday morning, just before classes began at about eight in the morning.

Authorities had previously claimed that the incident had held more than 100 kids hostage. But when Kaduna Governor Uba Sani visited the area, Sani Abdullahi, the schoolteacher, informed him that 287 people were still missing overall after a headcount.