Monday, October 18

344 students kidnapped in attack on Nigerian school released



The 344 students kidnapped from a school in northwestern Nigeria were released yesterday after spending a week in captivity. The jihadist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of students following the attack on the Government Science Secondary School, a boys’ school located in the city of Kankara, in the state of Katsina. The release was reported by the authorities who took the opportunity to deny the information about an alleged payment of a ransom to the jihadist group. “We did not pay ransom to the kidnappers, it was purely negotiation,” the governor of Katsina, Aminu Masari, told local media, who also gave details of the whereabouts of the children: “they were in a forest in Tsafe, in the neighboring state of Zamfara, since they were kidnapped by armed men ».

The students are on their way to Katsina, where they should arrive this Friday, and are expected to join their families after a medical check-up. “We are very happy to announce the rescue of the Kankara boys from their kidnappers. 344 they are now with the security agencies and they will be transferred to Katsina tonight, “said the governor on his Twitter account.

“They will be given proper medical care and attention before reuniting with their families,” Masari added, without going into details about the release of the students.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari “welcomed the release of kidnapped students” on his Twitter account. “This is a great relief for the entire country and the international community. The whole country thanks Governor Masari, the intelligence agencies, the Army and the Police, ”added Buhari.

A video of Boko Haram

The release was announced hours after Boko Haram posted a video allegedly showing several of the more than 300 kidnapped students. In the video, six and a half minutes long, kidnappers teach children, some of them crying, and assure that they are in good health, according to the local information portal HumAngle, which obtained the tape and specializes in conflicts.

“We have been captured by the Abu Shekau gang (Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram). Some of us were murdered, ”says a visibly distressed schoolboy in English and Hausa (a language spoken in northern Nigeria), as a voice is heard in the background that seems to tell him what to say. The boy urges the Nigerian Government to reach an amicable agreement with your kidnappers and discourages the use of military force to try to rescue captives. The student appears surrounded by dozens of children, covered in dust and apparently in a forest area.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks at the end of the video, noting that many people thought he was lying when he claimed the kidnapping of schoolchildren in an audio this week. Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the kidnapping of more than 300 students from the Government’s Secondary School of Sciences.

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