Habibu Iliyasu / AFP via Getty Images
Government officials said that more than 275 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped last Friday have returned safely.
The Nigerian government denied paying a ransom for the girls, and officials did not say who was responsible. It is unclear if the kidnappers have been arrested.
The government initially said that 317 girls had been kidnapped, but today it has revised the number down to 279 without explanation. They were taken from their beds at the State Girls’ Science High School in Gangbei City.
witnesses Reporters Armed men – some in uniform and disguised as security personnel – arrived at the school in pickup trucks and motorcycles at around 1 a.m. last Friday (7 p.m. ET Thursday). Then they “stormed the students’ homes ”and“ evacuated them by force ”.
The kidnapping and return of girls is the latest in a string of other similar cases in Nigeria. On Saturday, their captors released a group of 42 people who had been kidnapped last month. In December, 300 abducted students were released after negotiations.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted on Tuesday that the Nigerian government is “working hard to put an end to these horrific and tragic incidents of kidnapping.”
I join the affected families and the people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of the kidnapped students from GGSS Jangebe. This news brings overwhelming joy. I am glad that their ordeal ended without incident.
– Muhammad Buhari (MBuhari) March 2, 2021