Bandits in Nigeria have released 28 students who had been kidnapped.
Gunmen who kidnapped 121 pupils from a high school in northeastern Nigeria in early July have freed 28 of them, according to a school spokesman.
On July 5, terrorists raided Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state’s northwestern region, abducting students resting in their dorms.
The kidnapping was the latest by heavily armed gangs known as bandits, who have long terrorized northwest and central Nigeria by robbery, cattle theft, and kidnapping, but have recently turned their attention to schools and institutions.
After being released on Saturday, the 28 released pupils were reunited with their parents, according to Joseph Hayab, a Bethel Baptist High School official.
“We were able to send out church buses to bring them up from where the captors had dropped them,” he claimed.
According to Hayab, 34 of the kidnapped youngsters are now free: five escaped earlier and one was freed due to health concerns.
He indicated money had been paid to the group, but he wouldn’t reveal how much.
“Right now, the most essential thing is to free all of the remaining children,” he stated.
When reached by AFP, Kaduna state police were not immediately available for comment.
Two of the five youngsters who escaped on July 21 were apprehended by police, while the other three returned to school on their own, according to Hayab.
“When they were assigned to fetch firewood for cooking, they escaped from the bandits.”
The group demanded food and a ransom to liberate the hostages after the kidnapping.
In Africa’s most populous country, kidnappings of road users or powerful people for ransom are prevalent.
Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped children from schools for the first time in 2014, when they abducted more than 200 girls from their Chibok dormitory, triggering a worldwide uproar.
Since then, the number of schoolchildren abducted has increased dramatically, with over 1,000 students and pupils taken across Nigeria since December.
The majority have been released as a result of local officials’ talks with organized criminal organizations.
Many people are still being held captive, including a hundred children who were kidnapped in early June from a Muslim school in neighboring Niger and are currently being held hostage.
On Sunday, Nigerian analyst Bulama Bukarti tweeted, “The Tegina boys and girls, some as young as five, have been in captivity for 56 long days already.”
“It is evident that parents are on their own, with neither the state nor the federal governments making any meaningful security or non-security attempts to release the vulnerable children.”
Muhammadu Buhari is the President of Nigeria. Brief News from Washington Newsday.