Kidnappings in Nigeria: release of 53 hostages kidnapped from a bus

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Abuja | A group of 53 hostages – including 20 women and 9 children – recently kidnapped in central Nigeria were released Sunday by their captors, while the 42 people kidnapped last Wednesday were left without news from a high school in Kagara, in the same city. region.

“I was delighted to receive the 53 bus passengers who had been kidnapped by armed bandits a week ago,” Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said in a tweet on Sunday evening.

No details on the conditions of these releases were brought by the authorities, who always affirmed that they would not pay ransom to free the hostages of the “bandits”.

“We have spent a week of dialogue, consultations, hard work and sleepless nights because we had to obtain their release as soon as possible,” said only the spokeswoman for the governor, Mary Noel-Berje, in a statement. communicated.

The 53 ex-hostages, kidnapped near the village of Kundu in a state-owned company bus, underwent a medical examination before being reunited with their families, she added.

On the other hand, the 42 people, including 27 schoolchildren, kidnapped Wednesday at the high school of Kagara, in the same state of Niger, are still missing.

“The students of the Government Science College in Kagara are still in the hands of their captors but everything is being done to ensure their release,” said Mary Noel-Berje.

In two other attacks last week in the same state, gunmen killed 10 people and kidnapped at least 23. “We are seeing these attacks now almost daily, and it’s worrying,” the door said at the time. -the governor’s speech.

Usually described as “bandits” – as opposed to jihadists or separatist militants – the kidnappers live in the Rugu Forest, on the borders of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

The north-west and the center of Nigeria are the zone of predilection of these criminal gangs which multiply the kidnappings for ransom and the thefts of cattle.

These criminal gangs are motivated by greed, but some have forged links with jihadist groups present in northeastern Nigeria.