“They phoned the head of the school and told him to ask parents to send the children new clothes as the one they have been wearing are in shreds,”Maryam Mohammed, whose seven children are among the hostages, told AFP.
The violence in northwestern and central Nigeria is rooted in clashes between nomadic cattle herders and local farmers over land and water. But violence has spiralled into widespread tit-for-tat attacks, mass kidnapping and banditry.
Kidnap gangs are driven by financial motives though there are signs of increasing ties between them and Islamist militants fighting a 12-year insurgency in the country’s northeast. That conflict has killed around 40,000 people and displaced more than two million from their homes.