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Over 300 schoolboys abducted in Nigeria have been released - official

It’s unclear whether the kidnappers are still holding some students captive.

Usama Aminu (17) who escaped from kidnappers who abducted hundreds of students earlier this week.
Usama Aminu (17) who escaped from kidnappers who abducted hundreds of students earlier this week.
Image: Sunday Alamba

AN ESTIMATED 344 schoolboys abducted in northwest Nigeria last week have been released, a local official in Katsina state had said.

“We have 344 students, they are currently in Zamfara undergoing checks. We are grateful to God they have been released,” Ibrahim Katsina, a security aide to the governor told AFP.

Earlier, a presidential aide said the schoolboys had been freed, but it was unclear was how many were released amid ongoing uncertainty over the number taken in the first place.

“The abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara have been rescued, the Katsina State Government has confirmed the news,” Bashir Ahmaad, personal assistant to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said on Twitter.

Two officials put the number of schoolboys at 320 and 333, while locals in Kankara put it at more than 500.

“No one can give the exact number,” a security source told AFP, saying the children were left in a forest after negotiations with the government.

The children were in the town of Tsafe in Zamfara state and nearby Yankara, in Katsina state.

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“The actual number of freed children will only be known after a head count when they arrive in (the state capital) Katsina. Any figures given are a conjecture,” the security source added.

nigeria-students-kidnapped The shoes of kidnapped students from the Government Science Secondary School, in Kankara. Source: Sunday Alamba

The attack was initially blamed on criminals, known locally as bandits, but was later claimed by Boko Haram.

The jihadist group released a video today claiming to show schoolboys seized in the mass kidnapping.

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