279 Nigerian school girls released by kidnappers this week

Jangebe, Nigeria, March 3 (AFP/APP): All the 279 Nigerian schoolgirls released by kidnappers this week were on Wednesday reunited with their parents, in an emotional event overshadowed by chaos and shooting by security forces, an AFP reporter saw.

Angered by officials’ insistence on a formal handover before parents could leave with their children, mobs began throwing stones at officials outside the school in the remote village of Jangebe when the girls were returned. One person was shot in the stomach when security personnel opened fire and was carried away by others in the crowd. “Four people have been shot dead in the confusion,” Jangebe resident Bello Gidan-Ruwa told AFP by phone after leaving the village.

The tally could not immediately be confirmed with official sources. Pupils at Government Secondary School in the village in northwestern Zamfara state, the girls were abducted on Friday from their hostels by gunmen known locally as bandits, who released them early Tuesday.

Since their release, the students had been in government care in state capital Gusau, receiving medical treatment before being returned to the school to be handed over to their parents. There were tears and hugs from parents and relations as the girls arrived in buses, but officials and security personnel insisted on ushering the children into the dining hall.

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