Gunmen in Nigeria free kidnapped schoolchildren

Nigeria Gunmen free kidnapped schoolchildren
The children were taken from an Islamic school in Tegina, Niger state. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: Gunmen in Nigeria have freed a number of schoolchildren who were kidnapped from an Islamic school in May. The school’s headteacher has confirmed.

Some 136 students from the school were seized by gunmen demanding a ransom.

Officials of the school in Tegina, Niger state, say 15 students escaped in June and a further six died while in captivity.

In recent months, mass abductions for ransom have become increasingly common across Nigeria.

Headteacher Abubakar Alhassan said he couldn’t give an exact number of how many students have been freed, but said “none of the pupils are in captivity”.

He told AFP news agency that the schoolchildren were being transported home.

It is yet unclear how the students were released.

Fati Abdullahi, whose 15-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter were taken by the group, said her children had been freed.

She said: “We are anxious to see them.”

Gunmen riding on motorcycles stormed the town and opened fire on 30 May, killing one person and injuring another.

As people fled, the gunmen went to the school and seized the children.

Kidnappers seized a man in July, who was sent to deliver a ransom payment to secure the students’ release. School administrators and parents had sold possessions and part of the school’s land to pay the ransom, but they later said the payment wasn’t enough.

Since December last year, more than 1,000 students have been abducted from schools across northern Nigeria.

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