Abducted 280 Nigerian pupils reportedly released unharmed


LAGOS – More than 280 Nigerian pupils abducted in the north-western town of Kuriga earlier this month have been released “unharmed”, officials say.

Kaduna state governor, Uba Sani, did not give details of the release, days before a deadline for ransom demanded by the abductors.

The children, aged eight to 15, and one teacher, were abducted on March 7, 2024, reported the BBC.

Kidnap gangs, known as bandits, had seized thousands of people in recent years, especially in the north-west however, there had been a reduction in the mass abduction of children over the past year until this week.

This time, the kidnappers had demanded US$690,000 and the government had said it would not pay any ransom.

Read More: Churches and mosques burnt in Nigeria as curfew imposed in Mangu

In his statement, Governor Sani praised Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu “for ensuring that the abducted Kuriga school children are released unharmed”.

“The Nigerian Army also deserves special commendation for showing that with courage, determination and commitment, criminal elements can be degraded and security restored in our communities,” Sani said.

Earlier this year, the family of a group of sisters kidnapped in the capital, Abuja, denied a police statement that the security forces had rescued the girls, saying that they had no choice but to pay the ransom.

There was global outrage when Islamist militants from the Boko Haram group seized nearly 300 girls in Nigeria’s north-eastern town of Chibok in 2014.

Most of the victims have either been freed or escaped since then, but dozens remain unaccounted for.

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