Nigeria: Gunmen release kidnapped schoolchildren after three months

·1-min read

Gunmen have released some of the children kidnapped from a school in Nigeria three months ago.

Around 136 children, some as young as five, were abducted along with several teachers from the Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Tegina town, in Niger state, in May.

Other young children were left behind when they could not keep up with the gunmen who had abducted them.

Abubakar Garba Alhassan, the headteacher, said the freed students were on their way to state capital Minna.

Mr Alhassan said he could not confirm the exact number of students who were freed.

Parents had been struggling to raise the ransoms demanded by the abductors.

The release came a day after local media reports quoted one parent who said six of the children had died whilst being held.

More than 1,000 students have been forcibly taken from schools in Nigeria since December, according to an Associated Press tally.

While most have been released, at least 200 are still in captivity.

The government has been unable to combat the abductions and many schools have been forced to close due to concerns about kidnapping.

Gunmen demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars after one abduction at a university in Kaduna state earlier this year.

They went on to kill five students to compel the students' parents to raise money and later released 14 others.

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