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Nigerian army rescues 17 students abducted in Sokoto

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The Nigerian army has rescued 17 students and a lady who were kidnapped by gunmen two weeks ago in Sokoto state, according to the state governor.

The raid on Tsangaya School on March 9 came two days after a mass kidnapping of pupils in Kaduna, also in the north. The students are still missing.

Governor Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto announced on Friday that the Tsangaya students had been released following an operation coordinated by the army and the National Security Adviser’s office.

“All the children have been found healthy and are ready to be reunited with their parents,” he said in a statement, without giving details of the rescue operation.

The school owner Liman Abubakar Bakuso said he was travelling to Sokoto capital to bring back the students.

“No ransom was paid because I wasn’t contacted and the parents of the children were not as well on anything to do with ransom payment,” Bakuso told Reuters.

Kidnappings by gunmen who demands for ransoms have become almost daily occurrences, particularly in northern Nigeria, tearing families and communities apart as they must pool their savings to pay ransoms, often forcing them to sell land, cattle, and grain to secure the release of loved ones.

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