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More than 130 abducted schoolchildren rescued

More than 130 abducted schoolchildren rescued

The schoolchildren, numbering more than 130, who were held captive for over two weeks, were successfully rescued and have returned to their home state in northwestern Nigeria. They arrived on Monday, and there is anticipation for their reunions with families. Six of the students are still undergoing treatment in the hospital, while tragically, one staff member who was taken captive with them lost their life during the ordeal.

The abduction took place on March 7 when armed gunmen on motorcycles raided their school in Kuriga, Kaduna state. The rescue operation, which took place in a forest approximately 200 kilometers away in Zamfara state, was conducted by the military. Although specific details about the operation have not been disclosed, the children are now safe.

Upon their return, the children were provided with fresh haircuts and new clothes, marking their first change of attire since the abduction. The remaining six students in the hospital will be released once they are deemed fit by medical professionals, according to Major General Mayirenso Saraso, a military official.

Contrary to initial reports of 287 students being kidnapped, Governor Uba Sani confirmed that only 137 students were taken. Despite the ordeal, there is relief and celebration as the children are safely back. However, due to security concerns and the emotional toll of the situation, authorities did not allow the children to speak to reporters, and their parents were not present at their arrival.

One parent, Jubril Kuriga, spoke of the anguish and sleepless nights endured during the children’s absence, highlighting the trauma experienced by families affected by such incidents.

This abduction adds to a grim tally, with over 1,400 students kidnapped from Nigerian schools since the shocking 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants in Chibok village. Such abductions are a distressing reality in Nigeria’s conflict-affected northwestern and central regions, where various armed groups frequently target communities and travelers for ransom.

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