At least three students have been abducted and many other wounded in an attack by gunmen on a Catholic seminary in Nigeria’s north-western state of Kaduna.

This is the latest violence targeting schools as armed gangs carrying out killings and kidnappings for ransom step up attacks in the region, despite ongoing operations against them by security forces.

A police spokesperson in Kaduna state told the BBC the gunmen on motorbikes stormed the Saint Albert Seminary in the town of Kagoma on Monday night opening fire, abducting students and then fleeing.

Those wounded have been taken to a nearby hospital while a search for the abductees has began in a nearby forest.

Kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs have become common in Nigeria with around 1,500 students abducted from schools and universities since December last year.

Most of them have been released after negotiations with the gunmen but dozens of girls taken from a college in the town of Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi state four months ago are still in captivity.

The authorities have deployed thousands of troops as well as blocked internet and mobile phone services in parts of north-western Nigeria – in an effort to track down the armed gangs behind the wave of killings and kidnappings there. But the gangs have continued to carry out deadly attacks.

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