Gunmen who kidnapped 121 students at a high school in Kaduna State, Nigeria, have now released 34 students, while 87 are still being held
The attackers stormed Bethel Baptist High School in northwestern Kaduna State on July 5, abducting students who were sleeping in their dorms.
The abduction was carried out by heavily-armed gangs, known locally as bandits, who have long plagued northwest and central Nigeria by looting, stealing cattle and abducting for ransom, but have lately targeted schools and colleges. Nearly 1000 students have been abducted as their operations gain momentum in 2021.
A senior official of Bethel High School told reporters that on Sunday that 28 students had been released and were reunited with their parents.
“The bandits released them yesterday (Saturday) and we were able to send out church buses to go to where the captors dropped them to pick them up,” Joseph Hayab told reporters.
“Five children escaped on July 21 but only two were found by the police. The other three made it to the school on their own,” he said.
“They escaped from the bandits when they were sent to collect firewood for cooking.
“The bandits released a student two weeks ago on health grounds,” he added.
Hayab also confirmed that ransom was paid to secure the release of the student, but he refused to disclose the amount.