Gunmen in Nigeria on Saturday launched 27 teenage boys who had been kidnapped from their college final week within the northern state of Niger, whereas safety forces continued to seek for greater than 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in a close-by state.
Schools have change into targets for mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed teams, lots of whom carry weapons and experience bikes.
On Feb. 17, 27 college students, three workers and 12 members of their households had been kidnapped by an armed gang who stormed the Government Science secondary college within the Kagara district of Niger state, overwhelming the college’s safety element. One boy was killed throughout the raid.
After their launch, boys had been seen by a Reuters witness strolling with armed safety by a dusty village, some struggling to face and asking for water. A authorities official mentioned the boys had been aged between 15 and 18.
“The Abducted Students, Staff and Relatives of Government Science Collage Kagara have regained their freedom and have been received by the Niger State Government,” Governor Abubakar Sani Bello mentioned in a tweet.
The launch of the schoolboys comes only a day after the raid on a college in Zamfara state the place gunmen seized 317 ladies.
“As we welcome the news of the release of the abducted Kagara students, I urge government to expedite action on the release and safe return of the kidnapped students of Government Girls Secondary School Jangebe,” Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Nigeria consultant, mentioned.
The latest assaults have raised concern about rising violence by armed gangs and Islamist insurgents. Jihadist group Boko Haram carries out abductions in Nigeria’s turbulent northeast, as does a department of Islamic State.
The unrest has change into a political drawback for President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired basic and former army ruler who has confronted mounting criticism in latest months over excessive profile assaults by the gangs identified regionally as “bandits”.
Buhari changed his long-standing army chiefs this month amid worsening violence in Nigeria.
In December, gunmen raided a college in northwestern Katsina state and kidnapped practically 350 boys, who had been subsequently rescued by safety forces.
Violence and insecurity have compounded the financial challenges confronted by residents in Africa’s most populous nation and high oil exporter, which is struggling to deal with a fall in revenues on account of a stoop in crude costs along with the impression of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The most excessive profile college kidnapping was that of greater than 270 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from the city of Chibok in 2014. Around 100 of them stay lacking.