Armed men have kidnapped at least 42 people, including 27 students, from a secondary school in central Nigeria’s Niger state, according to officials.

Abdullberqy Ebbo, director general, strategic operation of Niger state in a tweet said “one student was shot by the bandits and lost his life”.

“Twenty-seven students, three staff and 12 members of their families were kidnapped. Unfortunately, one student was shot dead,” Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ibrahim Matane, Niger State government secretary, told BBC News Pidgin that armed men had attacked the Government Science College in Kagara, about 260km (160 miles) northwest of the Nigerian capital Abuja, at approximately 3am (02:00 GMT).

The attackers, dressed in military uniforms and masks, stormed the school hostels to take away children, local media reported, adding that some of the children escaped during the incident.

Government Science College has a student body of about a thousand.

School authorities have begun a headcount to determine the exact number of missing children.

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