Greater than 300 schoolboys kidnapped in northern Nigeria have been handed over to authorities safety, the Katsina state governor stated in a televised interview on Thursday.
A complete of 344 boys, whose abduction was claimed by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in an unverified recording, have been now on their manner again to Katsina, Aminu Masari advised the state broadcaster.
“In the intervening time, 344 of the scholars have been handed over to safety brokers. I believe we have now recovered many of the boys if not all of them,” he stated.
It was not instantly clear if the group included all of the boys who have been taken within the raid final Friday on a rural college in Kankara. Some college students who escaped the abductors advised native media that greater than 500 college students had been taken from the varsity.
Nigeria’s authorities routinely denies widespread suspicions that it has paid ransoms to kidnappers, together with within the case of greater than 100 schoolgirls seized in 2014 from the city of Chibok.
The boys would endure medical examinations within the morning, meet with the president, Muhammadu Buhari, and be reunited with their households, native authorities officers stated.
The Kankara raid was initially blamed on bandits who’ve terrorised the area for years, however on Tuesday Boko Haram claimed duty.
Kankara is lots of of miles from its stronghold in north-east Nigeria, the birthplace of a brutal, 11-year insurgency.
Masari’s announcement got here hours after Boko Haram launched a video purportedly displaying a number of the kidnapped boys.
The footage, which carried Boko Haram’s brand and has not been independently verified, confirmed dozens of boys clustered beneath a tree, many showing dishevelled and exhausted.
A young person, talking in English and Hausa, stated he was amongst college students taken by a gang belonging to the Boko Haram chief, Abubakar Shekau.
The boy seems to have been coaxed into making calls for on behalf of his captors. He requires the closure of all non-Qur’anic colleges and says authorities troops despatched to seek out the boys needs to be withdrawn.
The video was launched with a recording of a voice resembling that of Shekau, who was behind the 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok. It reiterated Boko Haram’s declare of duty.