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Nigerian governor says 279 kidnapped schoolgirls are freed

The governor of Nigeria’s northwestern Zamfara state says that 279 schoolgirls kidnapped final week from a boarding college have been launched

GUSAU, Nigeria — A whole bunch of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped final week from a boarding college within the northwestern Zamfara state have been launched, the state’s governor mentioned Tuesday.

Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle introduced that 279 women have been freed. The federal government final week mentioned 317 had been kidnapped.

Gunmen kidnapped the women from the Authorities Women Junior Secondary College in Jangebe city on Friday, within the newest in a collection of mass kidnappings of scholars within the West African nation.

An Related Press reporter noticed a whole bunch of ladies wearing mild blue hijabs and barefoot sitting on the state Authorities Home workplace in Gusau.

After the assembly, the women had been escorted outdoors by officers and lined as much as be taken away in vans. They appeared calm and ranged in ages from 10 and up.

Matawalle mentioned they’d be taken for medical examinations earlier than being reunited with their households.

“Alhamdulillah! (God be praised!) It gladdens my coronary heart to announce the discharge of the kidnapped college students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity. This follows the scaling of a number of hurdles laid towards our efforts. I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are actually secure,” Matawalle mentioned in a submit on Twitter early Tuesday.

On the time of the assault, one resident informed AP that the gunmen additionally attacked a close-by navy camp and checkpoint, stopping troopers from responding to the mass abduction on the college.

One of many women recounted the evening of their abduction to the AP.

“We had been sleeping at evening when abruptly we began listening to gunshots. They had been taking pictures endlessly. We bought out of our beds and other people mentioned we must always run, that they’re thieves,” she mentioned. “Everyone fled and there have been simply two of us left within the room.”

The attackers held weapons to the women’ heads, she mentioned.

“I used to be actually afraid of being shot,” she mentioned, including that they requested for instructions to the employees quarters and the principal. “We mentioned we do not know who she is. They mentioned the principal is our father and they’re going to train us a lesson.”

Police and the navy had since been finishing up joint operations to rescue the women, whose abduction brought about worldwide outrage.

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed “overwhelming pleasure” over the discharge of the women.

“I be part of the households and other people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the discharge of those traumatized feminine college students,” he mentioned in a press release. “Being held in captivity is an agonizing expertise not just for the victims, but in addition their households and all of us.”

The president known as for higher vigilance to stop bandits from finishing up such assaults.

He urged police and navy to pursue the abductors, and warned that insurance policies of creating funds to bandits will backfire.

“Ransom funds will proceed to prosper kidnapping,” he mentioned.

The phrases of the feminine college students’ launch weren’t made instantly clear.

Nigeria has seen a number of such assaults and kidnappings lately. On Saturday, 24 college students, six employees and eight kinfolk had been launched after being kidnapped on February 17 from the Authorities Science Faculty Kagara in Niger state. In December, greater than 300 schoolboys from a secondary college in Kankara, in northwestern Nigeria, had been taken and later launched. The federal government has mentioned no ransom was paid for the scholars’ launch.

Different organized armed teams, regionally known as bandits, typically abduct college students for cash. The federal government says massive teams of armed males in Zamfara state are recognized to kidnap for cash and to press for the discharge of their members held in jail.

Specialists say if the kidnappings proceed to go unpunished, they could proceed.


AP writers Sam Olukoya in Lagos, Nigeria and Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal contributed.

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