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21 kidnapped schoolchildren rescued in northwest Nigeria | Local News

21 kidnapped schoolchildren rescued in northwest Nigeria

| Breaking News Updates | Usa news

Nigerian police say at least 21 schoolchildren were rescued hours after being kidnapped by armed groups in the troubled northwest region of the West African country

The schoolchildren were abducted on Friday as they traveled with their teacher from the Bakura region to an Islamic school in neighboring Katsina state, police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said in a statement over the weekend.

Security forces intervened and rescued the 21 students and “are currently working to rescue the remaining victims and apprehend the perpetrators,” Shehu said.

He did not say how many hostages are still being held, but said the attackers seized travelers in five vehicles, suggesting there were still many more in captivity.

Children have often been targeted in northwestern Nigeria in attacks by armed groups against rural communities far from the protection of security forces who are often underarmed and in numbers.

A day after the attack on schoolchildren, the Nigerian Air Force launched “successful” airstrikes targeting the gunmen’s camps in Zamfara state, senior official Edward Gabkwet told Monday. Associated Press. He said the number of people killed in the airstrikes has not been confirmed.

“We will pursue each of them (the gunmen) until all Nigerians feel safe to go about their normal business,” he said.

Another group of bandits killed six rural residents on Sunday in several attacks in Kaduna state, neighboring the Nigerian capital, according to Samuel Aruwan, state commissioner for internal security.

The large assailant gangs consist mainly of young men of the Fulani ethnicity, who traditionally worked as nomadic pastoralists and are caught up in a decades-long conflict with Hausa farming communities over access to water and resources. pastures.

The armed men – in groups of more than 150, according to Katsina governor Aminu Masari – appear to be increasingly organized and well armed, despite measures taken by the Nigerian authorities to stem the violence, including recently designating them as terrorist organizations.

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