Praise God! The Nigerian military have rescued 344 of the boys taken from their school in Katsina state last Friday (11 December). Please continue to pray for the boys and their families - especially those who have not yet returned.
Thank you so much for your prayers for the boys abducted from their school last Friday. After a week, 344 of them have been released! They were rescued by the Nigerian military and brought to the Katsina state capital. However, some reports suggest that not all of the boys have been accounted for. Please continue to pray for them and their families, and that all of the boys will be returned home safe.
On Friday 11 December, gunmen attacked a boys' secondary school in Katsina state. Around half of the school's 800 students are feared missing. The majority are Muslims, but Christians are believed to be among them.
Parents of schoolgirls from Chibok, who were taken by Boko Haram in a similar attack in 2014, are still praying for their return
Several media outlets report that a man identifying himself as leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has claimed in an audio message to be behind the kidnapping.
“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his holy prophet,” he said.
There was no proof offered to verify the claims. The lack of video footage of the boys, nor a video of the person claiming to be Shekau, are a deviation from their usual modus operandi. A security source told Reuters that Boko Haram was not itself involved in the abduction, but that the kidnappers could have sold the boys to the group.
There were pupils who escaped the attack on Friday by jumping over the fence of the Government Science secondary school and fleeing through a forest. They said the attackers were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rounded up their victims before marching them off. The Nigerian government said it had spoken to the kidnappers, who have sought a ransom from at least one parent.
“It is very possible that this abduction is an example of the lawlessness in Nigeria, rather than religious persecution,” says a spokesperson for Open Doors.
Please continue to hold these boys and their families in your prayers.
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