Gunmen attack Catholic seminary, kidnap three

Gunmen on Monday attacked a Catholic seminary and kidnapped three people.

An official said the gunmen attacked the Christ the King Major Seminary in Kaduna State at about 7:26 p.m.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Emmanuel Okolo, said the affected seminarians were in ‘Theology four’ and they belong to the ‘apostles of Divine Charity’ and the ‘Little sons of the Eucharist Congregation’ groups.

He said the gunmen invaded the chapel of the seminary located in a district called Fadan Kagoma in Jema’a Local Government Area and initially went away with five seminarians. But they later released two of them, Okolo said in the statement.

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The Rector of the seminary, Stephen Jonah, a Catholic priest, also confirmed the incident on the phone, saying the freed seminarians said their abductors spoke the Hausa language ‘with Fulani accents.’

The statement did not include the names of the abducted seminarians but added that six others sustained major injuries from the attack.

Okolo said soldiers from Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) later arrived and accompanied the injured seminarians to the Salem Hospital in Kafanchan for treatment.

During the attack, 10 officials including the rectors of the seminary and the institute, 132 seminarians, six non-seminarians, one female non-academic staff and one steward were inside the seminary, the statement said.

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The diocese called for prayers for the release of the abducted seminarians and urged well-wishers to desist from taking the laws into their hands.

Kidnap for ransom is common in Kaduna and many other states in North-west and North-central Nigeria.

Such attacks are believed to be perpetrated by bandits who mostly reside in forests that transverse the states in the area.

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