LAGOS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian police confirmed that 317 students were abducted from a girls' secondary school in the northwestern state of Zamfara early Friday.
In a statement made available to Xinhua, Mohammed Shehu, spokesman for the police in Zamfara, said 317 students were taken away by unidentified gunmen after their attack on the Government Girls Secondary School at Jangebe, a town in the state's Talata-Mafara local government area.
A joint search and rescue operation is under way to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls, he said.
Authorities have appealed to the school principal and the parents to be calm, telling them that police and other security agencies are try to rescue the students.
The latest abduction came about a week after gunmen struck the Government Secondary School at Kagara, a town in the north-central state of Niger, abducting 27 school pupils, three school staff, and 12 family members of the school staff.
They have yet to be rescued as of Friday.
The northern region of the most populous African country has witnessed a series of armed attacks in recent months, with hundreds killed and many others abducted.