Gunmen have kidnapped 39 students from a college in northwestern Nigeria. The Thursday attack on the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna state came just weeks after a similar incident in which 317 girls were abducted from a boarding school in the country’s Zamfara state, the AP reports. In a statement, per CNN, a government official said that soldiers “engaged the armed bandits” and “successfully rescued 180 citizens: 42 female students, eight staff, and 130 male students. About 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.” Some students, however, dispute that version of events, with one telling CNN that the kidnappers were long gone before any soldiers arrives.
“The bandits were already gone when the soldiers came to rescue us,” he said. “They evacuated us to their barracks. I was very confused and afraid.” Video showing some of the kidnapped students reportedly emerged Saturday. In it, per Yahoo News, one student says the captors want $1.3 million in ransom. “If anybody comes to rescue them without the money they are going to kill us,” a male student says, according to the site. An unspecified number for students injured in the attack, but not kidnapped, were receiving medical care, per the AP. And an official said that security forces “are conducting an operation to track the missing students.” (Read more Nigeria stories.)