Bandits release forestry college students abducted in northwest Nigeria

People gather to protest the incessant killings in southern Kaduna and insecurities in Nigeria, at the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.

Kidnappers have released the remaining 29 students they were holding captive after abducting them in March from a forestry college in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, the head of the parents’ association said.

Gunmen took 39 students from the school in northwest Nigeria on March 11 and later released 10 of them. The newly released students were with police and en route back to Kaduna city, Abdullahi Usman, chairman of the parents’ association, said.

More than 700 people have been abducted from schools in northwest Nigeria since December in a rash of kidnappings for ransom in the volatile region.

Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai has repeatedly said his state government will not negotiate with “bandits”, as the criminal gangs are known, or pay ransoms.

Usman said a ransom was paid for the students’ release, but refused to say who had paid or how much.

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