Zamfara schoolgirls: Pope Francis reacts to abduction of 317 female students by bandits

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Roman Catholic head, Pope Francis has reacted to the abduction of schoolgirls in Zamfara State by bandits.

The Pope condemned the attack on innocent students, describing it as a “vile” abduction.

“I join the bishops of Nigeria in condemning this vile abduction of 317 young girls,” the pope said following his weekly Sunday Angelus address to the Catholic faithful on Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

“Let us pray for these girls, so that they may return home quickly.”

Over 310 schoolgirls were abducted from their hostels in Government Girls Junior Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State in the early hours of Friday and taken into the forest by suspected bandits.

Despites rumours and speculations about their release, the girls are still being held by the heavily armed criminal gangs operating in the northwest and central Nigeria, who have recently stepped up attacks in kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging.

Several other girls are still being held by Islamic sects, Boko Haram, operating in the North East. Most of the girls were abducted from their schools and taken to different locations in the forests.

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