Nigeria says 137 abducted schoolchildren rescued

Nigeria says 137 abducted schoolchildren rescued

Students, staff member were kidnapped from Kuriga on March 7, abductors demanded $680,000 within 20 days for release

By Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu

KANO, Nigeria (AA) - Nigeria on Sunday said troops have rescued students who were abducted from a school in the town of Kuriga, Kaduna state earlier this month.

Army spokesman Edward Buba, in a statement shared with Anadolu, said the victims were rescued in the early hours by troops with support from local authorities and government in the state of Zamfara.

Buba put the number of the rescued victims at 137, comprising 76 female and 61 male, adding that they would be handed over to the state government.

However, 286 pupils and one staff member were initially said to abducted on March 7. The Kaduna gunmen then demanded a total of 1 billion naira ($680,000) for their release within 20 days.

Kaduna governor Uba Sani also confirmed that “our Kuriga school children have been released.” He appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu for their efforts and coordinating the security operations, which eventually resulted “in this successful outcome.”

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,” he added.

​​​​​​​Abductions of students from schools in Nigeria are common. They were first carried out in 2014 by armed group Boko Haram, which abducted 276 students from a girls’ school in Chibok, northeastern Borno state.

Nigeria says 137 abducted schoolchildren rescued

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