More than 300 girls who were abducted last week from their school in Nigeria by a group of armed men have been released, a local official said on Tuesday, the second time in less than a week that gunmen have returned kidnapped schoolchildren in the country.
The girls were taken on Friday from Government Girls Secondary School in the northern state of Zamfara. Nigerian officials later told Reuters that the government was negotiating for their release.
“It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity,” the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, wrote on Twitter early Tuesday, referring to their school’s name. He also posted photographs showing girls in face masks being transported in white vans. Other local news outlets showed video footage of a group of girls they said were the abductees.
The week before the girls were kidnapped, more than 40 children and adults were abducted from a boarding school in Niger state, becoming the latest victims of the West African country’s slide into insecurity. They were freed on Saturday.
The girls who were freed this week had been kidnapped from the school in Jangebe town. Mr. Matawalle referred to them on Twitter as the #JangebeGirls.
“I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are now safe,” he wrote.