Following the kidnap of hundreds of schoolboys in Kankara Katsina state, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the notorious Boko Haram sect, has said in a video released on Tuesday, that his group was responsible for the attack.
Shekau said the school was teaching its students things that could “destroy Islam”.
Abdul Labaran, a spokesperson for the Katsina government, said that gunmen had previously contacted a parent to prepare to pay a ransom and tell the military to desist from air surveillance of their hiding place or else”.
However, in the video released by Shekau, the terrorist leader said,
“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 in the four-minute-long video.
“They are also not teaching what Allah and his Holy Prophet commanded. They are rather destroying Islam. It may be subtle, but Allah the Lord of the skies and earths knows whatever is hidden. May Allah promote Islam. May we die as Muslims.”
More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush.
The military had said an operation to rescue the student was in progress and although there have been series of attacks, in the region, the abduction of the students will be the first claimed by Boko Haram.
A number of boys were able to escape, but many were captured, split into groups and taken away, residents told AFP.
#BringBackOurBoys has been trending on social media since the weekend – a reference to a similar hashtag used after the girls’ 2014 abduction.