Boko Haram, a radical Islamic group, is holding more than 300 hundred schoolchildren captive in Nigeria after attacking a government-run secondary-school and kidnapping the students.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group who took credit for the attack, said the children were being punished for "un-Islamic practices".
Police engaged in a shootout with the gunman, which let some of the students run for cover. According to Garba Shehu, a spokesperson for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the children's location has been identified and the government is negotiating with the terrorists for their safe return.
People who are following the incident throughout West Africa are condemning the government for allowing extreme violence to persist.
"Nobody is happy about the insecurity in the country. Even kids are afraid of being in present Nigeria because of insecurity," said Syvester Anachike, a man who works in Abuja. "Just imagine, the children been abducted in the president's state! It is unfair. It's not good."
The recent kidnappings have proven that schools continue to be targets for radical Islamic terrorists in Nigeria.
"Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life," said Isa Sanusi of Amnesty International. "Other children have had to abandon their education after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities, and many teachers have been forced to flee to other states."
🔦 Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls six years ago, which prompted a global campaign for their safe return. However, more than 100 of them have still not been located.