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UN chief condemns attack on Nigerian school

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The United Nations secretary-general has strongly condemned Wednesday’s attack on a boarding school in north-central Nigeria in which a student was killed and several students, as well as family members and staff, were kidnapped.

Gunmen reportedly stormed the Kagara Government Science School in the Nigerian state of Nigeria at around 2 am local time. Many students are also said to be missing, although the number is unclear and the information has yet to be confirmed.

In a note issued by his spokesman on Wednesday, Secretary General António Guterres reiterated that “the attacks on schools and other educational facilities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

The UN chief asked the Nigerian authorities “to spare no effort to rescue the hostages and hold those responsible for this act accountable,” the statement added.

Attacks a violation of the rights of the child

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also denounced the attack “in the strongest terms” and called for the immediate and unconditional release of children who may be missing and their safe return to their families.

“Attacks on schools are a violation of children’s rights. Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times, and parents should not worry about the safety of their children when they send them to school in the morning, ”said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, in a release.

“We recognize the efforts that the Nigerian government is making for the safe return of missing children,” added Mr. Hawkins.

The latest attack comes about two months after more than 300 students were abducted in a similar attack on a school in Kankara, Katsina state, some 280 kilometers (173 miles) to the north. The students kidnapped in that attack have been released.

The abductions are a sad reminder of the April 2014 abduction of 276 girls from their school dormitory in Chibok by Boko Haram insurgents. Many of them are still missing.

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