At least 26 students and a teacher have been rescued after armed men raided a private secondary school in Nigeria's northwestern Kaduna State early Monday and kidnapped scores of people, said police.

Iran PressAfrica: Officials from the school in Kaduna's Chikun district told AFP that no fewer than 140 students were captured and taken to an unknown destination by the attackers.

Regional police spokesman Mohammed Jalige said that 26 students and a female teacher have so far been rescued after "operatives gave the bandits a hot pursuit."

"The rescue operation continues," Jalige said earlier on Monday. "We are liaising with the school's management to get the exact number of people that were kidnapped."

This raid followed a similar attack on a federal medical facility in the city of Zaria, located less than two hours from Chikun, in the early hours of Sunday.

A hospital spokesperson told Reuters that six people had been abducted in that raid. They were two nurses, one with her 1-year-old child, a laboratory technician, a security guard, and one other staff member, according to the spokesperson.

Kidnappings for ransom have escalated in northern Nigeria, where hundreds of schoolchildren have been taken since December.

Kaduna, which is fast becoming the epicenter of school abductions in northern Nigeria, has witnessed a string of kidnappings since January.


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