Nigerian Schoolgirls Released by Kidnappers

Gusau, Nigeria, March 3 (AFP/APP): All the 279 Nigerian schoolgirls released by kidnappers this week will reunite with their parents later on Wednesday, a senior state education official told AFP.

The girls, pupils at Government Secondary School in the remote village of Jangebe in northeastern Zamfara state, were abducted on Friday from their hostels by gunmen known locally as bandits, who released them early Tuesday.

Since their release, the students have been in government care in state capital Gusau, where they are receiving medical treatment following their ordeal in captivity. “We are taking the girls back to the school in Jangebe this afternoon, where they will be handed over to their parents in the school premises,” Zamfara state education commissioner Ibrahim Abdullahi told AFP. “We feel it is safer and easier for parents to pick their children in the school rather than to come to Gusau to claim their wards,” he said.

Medical checks had shown the girls were all fit to return to their families, Abdullahi added. One of the girls, Hafsat Umar Anka, on Tuesday recalled harrowing experiences during their abduction. “We trekked all the way,” she said, speaking in Hausa.

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