Zamfara State governor Bello Matawalle announced that of the 317 girls kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria, 279 have been freed.
Matawalle said in a statement, "It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity. This follows the scaling of several hurdles laid against our efforts. I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are now safe."
Additionally, the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, also expressed gratitude that the children were freed. "I join the families and people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of these traumatized female students. Being held in captivity is an agonizing experience not only for the victims, but also their families and all of us," he said in a statement.
There is not any word on what is being done for the 38 students who are still kidnapped, however, the president has told his military to take a tougher stance on kidnappers and also told people not to give the ransom payments, as they will just encourage more kidnappings to happen in the future.
According to an unnamed source at CNN, one of the people harmed in the kidnapping attack was a police officer. "They came on about 20 motorcycles and they marched the abducted girls into the forest. The bandits arrived around 1:45 a.m. and they operated 'til about 3 a.m. The sad part is that there's a military checkpoint that is about four minutes away from the school," the source told CNN.
Additionally, another local told the Associated Press that the gunmen attacked a local military base and checkpoint to prevent soldiers from coming in to fight back when the kidnapping happened. The attack reportedly began after 1 am. The gunmen forced some of the girls into vehicles while others went on foot into the Rugu forest, a forest that spans hundreds of miles.
The kidnappings follow a wave of abductions that have hit Africa's most populous country.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Werbeantrieb
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.