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Nigeria secures the release of 100 kidnapped mothers and children


Authorities in northwest Nigeria say they have released 100 women and children – mostly mothers nursing infants – who were seized by bandits.

The group was kidnapped on June 8 in Zamfara state. Four people were also killed in the incident.

The Zamfara state government said they were released without any ransom being paid, but gave no further details.

The group will now undergo medical checks and a debriefing before returning home.

A wave of kidnappings has taken place in the region in recent months.

Since December 2020, more than 1,000 people have been abducted. Most were later released, apparently after the payment of ransoms, but some were killed.

Authorities blamed the incidents on bandits, a loose term for kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle thieves and other armed militias operating in the area who are largely motivated by money.

Since the high-profile kidnapping in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok High School by Islamist Boko Haram militants in Borno State, more and more armed groups have resorted to mass kidnappings of students.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the military to flush out criminals in Zamfara and the neighboring states of Kaduna and Katsina.

Earlier this week, during a raid on a criminal gang, a Nigerian Air Force plane was shot down on the border of Zamfara and Kaduna states. The pilot survived the attack by ejecting himself from the aircraft and fleeing to safety.

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