The Kaduna State government has confirmed that a total of 39 students are missing after gunmen attacked the Federal College of Forestry in the state.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, who is the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in the state, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.
He noted that 23 female and 16 male students have yet to be accounted for following the early morning attack on the school located in the Afaka area of Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
According to Channelstv, the commissioner, however, gave an assurance that the state government was maintaining close communication with the management of the college.
He added that efforts were being sustained by the security agencies to tracking the missing students who were apparently abducted by the bandits.
The attackers were reported to have invaded the school through a fence and went straight to the school hostel and abducted many students and staff.
But the arrival of troops of the Nigerian Army was said to have prevented the bandits from taking more students into captivity.
According to Aruwan, the troops managed to repel the attackers and successfully rescued 180 students and staff of the college.
Some parents, who had dashed to the school to take their children home upon hearing the news of the abduction, were disappointed to hear that their children were among the victims.
One of them was Mrs Angelina Balabe, whose daughter, Blessing, was taken away by the bandits.
She appealed to the authorities concerned to ensure the safe return of her child and others kidnapped by the bandits.
The school is just a few kilometres away from the Nigerian Defence Academy, and it also not too far from the Kaduna International Airport Road which is one of the hotbeds of banditry and kidnapping in the state.
The college has now been deserted as all the students have vacated while security has been beefed up around the institution.