About 150 students were missing on Monday after armed men raided a boarding school in Nigeria's Kaduna state, the latest in a wave of mass kidnappings targeting schoolchildren for ransom.
Police said they were in hot pursuit alongside military personnel.
The attack on the Bethel Baptist High School is the 10th mass school abduction since December in northwest Nigeria.
Parent John Evans said he had recently told his daughter that God would protect her while she studied at the school.
''My daughter told me daddy I don't like this school, remove me from this school. I said baby, you are starting exams on Monday and I am told that by Friday you will be vacated, so just be patient...just this morning, at about 6 a.m., I received a phone call that they have entered the school... kidnappers, that all our children were packed, including my daughter. We rushed down here, we confirmed that they were all packed.''
Dozens of distraught parents gathered at the school compound, some weeping and crying out, standing in groups awaiting news.
Police said gunmen shooting wildly attacked overnight and overpowered the school's security guards, taking an unspecified number of students into a nearby forest.
A police statement said 26 people including a female teacher had been rescued.
Armed men, known locally as bandits, have made an industry of kidnapping students for ransom in northwest Nigeria, with Kaduna state particularly hard hit.
They have taken nearly 1,000 people from schools in the last eight months, more than 150 of whom remain missing.