The over 300 schoolgirls abducted from Government Girls Junior Secondary School Jangebe, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State in the early hours of Friday have been sighted at Dangulbi Forest, credible sources told the Daily Trust Saturday last night.
Gunmen stormed the school around 1 am and abducted most students between 12 and 16 from their dormitories.
A school teacher, who spoke to Daily Trust Saturday on the condition of anonymity, said out of 600 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, only about 50 were left behind.
However, the police in the state said 317 students were kidnapped while the Zamfara State Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Sulaiman Tunau Anka, said the exact number of abducted students was yet to be ascertained.
Daily Trust Saturday last night gathered that security personnel and officials of the Zamfara State government had established the identity of the girls’ abductors.
An authoritative source close to the efforts to secure the girls’ release told Daily Trust Saturday that the window of engagement was being opened to discuss with the armed bandits.
“The schoolgirls are being held at Dangulbi Forest in Maru Local Government Area,” one of the sources said.
The source, who craved anonymity because he had no permission to speak on the incident, said the mystery behind the abduction would come to the fore soon.
The forests between Dangulbi and Maru are a known enclave of bandits who have been terrorising residents of neighbouring villages for years.
The Zamfara State government said security operatives had launched a manhunt for the criminals. Governor Bello Matawalle has been pushing for a dialogue with bandits for peace to reign while the abduction happened hours after the state government said some repentant bandits had surrendered their arms.