Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls rescued days after kidnapping
LAGOS, Nigeria - As of Monday (March 1), hundreds of schoolgirls that had been kidnapped at gunpoint in Nigeria just prior to the weekend have finally been rescued, CNN reports.
The 279 children were abducted by gunmen who stormed their state-run school in Nigeria's northwest Zamfara State, according to a high-ranking government official with knowledge of the incident.
Yusuf Idris, a spokesman for the regional governor, said Tuesday the girls had been safely returned and were all accounted for; CNN adds that Idris did not comment when asked whether a ransom was paid for their release.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced by means of Twitter that he was "pleased" the ordeal "has come to a happy end without any incident."
I join the affected families and the people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe. This news bring overwhelming joy. I am pleased that their ordeal has come to a happy end without any incident.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) March 2, 2021
The abduction of this group of children is the latest in a series of similar kidnapping cases in the region. At least 42 people were kidnapped from a state-run school in February and later released, and more than 300 schoolboys were taken and later freed in December.
According to CNN, these incidents have raised questions about the safety of schools in parts of northern Nigeria.
In a statement released on social media Friday, Buhari said the girls' abduction was "inhumane and totally unacceptable."
"This administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments," Buhari said in the statement, which was posted by his official spokesperson.
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