Katzina, Nigeria 300 More than 300 Nigerian boys reunited with their parents on Friday, a week after militants attacked their shelters. One of the biggest kidnappings History of school students.
There were emotional scenes as parents and their sons hugged in tears at the Hajj camp in Katsina. School students, who were stunned after being detained for six days, spent several hours between press conferences with local politicians and President Mohammed Buhari.
All 344 children abducted were reported by party state governor Aminu Bello Mazari Released After they were taken prisoner for six days, many of those rescued have been confirmed.
It was not immediately clear how those reports were lined up with previous testimonies from some of the classmates who managed to escape, and said a head count made by the captives as they marched through the thick jungle revealed more than 500 hostages.
One of the rescued boys, Abdurrub Isa, still wearing the purple and white checkered school uniform of the Government Science High School in Kangaroo, was relieved. Their test Done. “We were in the hands of the kidnappers, but they gave us food to eat,” the 16-year-old said Friday. “We ate raw local potatoes and drank water from the stream.”
The jihadi group translating “Western education is forbidden” is responsible for the abduction of Boko Haram, it was on Tuesday Captured students to punish them “For Islamic Practices”. In a grain video released Thursday, just hours before the boys were released, they said some of their classmates had died while being held hostage. Governor Mr Mazari said on Friday that all the captive boys were alive.
Abdurroof said he was looking forward to returning to his studies. “My dream is to be a scientist in the future,” he said. “I will continue my education.”
Mr. Nigerian officials, including Buhari, were careful on Friday to name the group behind the abduction of the boys or to provide details on how they were released.
In an interview with the state broadcaster NDA, Mr. Buhari thanked the military and said the boys had surrounded the captives without revealing their identities or explaining what happened next. His government has repeatedly said that its military has technically defeated Boko Haram and its affiliates, despite the fact that its group carried out brutal attacks on civilians over dozens of military bases last year.
Analysts said that if Boko Haram was really responsible, the kidnapping of children would signify a dangerous expansion of alliances with local criminal networks from its stronghold in the northeastern Nigerian state of Katsina under its leader, Abu Bakr Sheka.
Some investigators have also questioned reports by Nigerian authorities that Kangara did not pay the ransom to free students taken from the school.
The relatively quick release of the boys was a much-needed victory for Mr Buhari’s government, for whom the abduction was reminiscent of the 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the city of Sibok. The attack sparked a global #BringBackOurGirls campaign, drawing the world’s attention to the rise of Boko Haram militants.
Three years later, 103 girls were released for ransom, according to sources, along with the transfer of five jailed militants and $ 3 million, about $ 3.7 million. The government has refused to pay the ransom for the Sibok girls.
After undergoing medical examinations and clean clothes, the boys were taken to Mr. Buhari and Katsina were waiting at a state banquet hall on Friday afternoon before meeting the governor.
“Don’t let your kidnapping experience prevent you from continuing your education,” the president told the boys. “Please put the experience behind you and move on.”
Outside, dozens of parents who traveled about 130 kilometers from Kangra to the state capital Katsina were eager to welcome their children. “I was able to shake [my son’s] Shake hands with him and the other released children before they go for medical check-ups, ”said Hajiya Mai Jida. Buhari, a 17-year-old son, was among those released on Thursday.
But like other parents, Ms Zida said she did not plan to send her son back to school. “The school is not safe, it is alone in the bush,” he said. “I don’t want him kidnapped again.”
Corrections and Multiplications
Muhammad Buhari is the President of Nigeria. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that his last name was Buhair.
Write Gabriel Steinhauser at [email protected]
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