Boko Haram has claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attack of a secondary school in northwest Nigeria where more than 300 boys were abducted.
The attack was claimed via an audio message from a man identifying himself as the leader of the Nigeria based jihadist terrorist organization.
Boko Haram roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden.”
A total of 333 students are still missing, state authorities said Monday.
“We are behind what happened in Katsina,” said the man in the audio, which was sent to Reuters via a Whatsapp message. “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.”
Despite the claims, none of the kidnapped boys were shown on camera.
The youths were seized after gunmen raided a boarding school on Friday in northwestern Nigeria. Gunfire was exchanged between the national military and the gunmen, but no fatalities have yet been reported by the terrorist cell or government.
Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, said there was a “massive deployment” of troops to recover the abducted children. “Military commanders on the ground have the coordinates of where they believe the bandits are, and whoever they are holding. They have surrounded all of that area,” he added.
The recent abductions mirror Boko Haram’s 2014 kidnap of more than 200 girls from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok. To date, only half of the missing girls have been found or freed.