Abducted four months ago, thirty school children in Nigeria finally released

The students were abducted from their schools in an ambush along with five teachers
Representative image | Pic: Wikimedia Commons
Representative image | Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Thirty school children, who were kidnapped from a secondary school in Nigeria's northwestern state of Kebbi more than four months ago, were released by their captors, the government said. In a statement, the Kebbi state government confirmed the release, saying that the students have arrived at the state capital Birnin Kebbi and will undergo medical screening and support before being reunited with their families, reports Xinhua news agency. "Efforts are still continuing to secure the release of the remaining," said the statement, without revealing the number of students that were still held by the kidnappers. "We thank all those who have helped in securing the release," it added.

A group of unknown gunmen attacked the secondary school on June 17, killing one policeman and abducting an unspecified number of students and five teachers. While 30 students were released, the rest are still missing. Nigeria's history of school attacks and kidnappings is taking a toll on the state of education in the country, giving it the ignominious distinction of being the African country with the most number of children out of school, Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has said.

These incidents got worldwide attention in 2014 when 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok by the terrorist organisation Boko Haram. almost a hundred of those girls are still missing. And the attacks have only increased in scale and frequency ever since. Data released by UNICEF shows that 1,400 children were kidnapped from schools in Nigeria just this year, and hundreds are still missing. UNICEF also states that almost a million children could miss school this year because of these attacks. Security concerns have also brought the curtains down on almost 600 schools in the country.

Edited by Juveria Tabassum

With inputs from IANS

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