Nigeria's Buhari relieved to have kidnapped schoolboys returned safely

The 344 boys are currently being moved to a hospital for medical examination and further debriefing before they will be allowed to reunite with their parents.

Children kidnapped by Boko Haram from the Government Science Secondary school, in Kankara, in northwestern Katsina State, Nigeria are seen returning after having been freed on 18 December 2020. Picture: AFP

ABUJA - Hundreds of schoolboys abducted last Friday from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, and released on Thursday night have arrived in Katsina State, the state capital.

The students were escorted into the state capital by security operatives where they were received by the Katsina state governor, Aminu Masari.

Governor Masari, who confirmed their release on Thursday after negotiations with those he referred to as bandits, said that the students would be handed over to their parents after the debriefing process was completed.

"At the moment, 344 of the students have been handed over to security agents. I think we have recovered most of the boys."

The secondary school boys were looking unkempt, some of them still wearing the same uniform they had on when they were kidnapped exactly a week ago.

Recounting their traumatic experience, they explained how they were poorly fed, beaten and made to defecate in the same place they slept in the bush.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abductions.

President Muhammadu Buhari described the safe return of the schoolboys as a big relief to their families, the entire country and to the international community.

The 344 boys are currently being moved to a hospital for medical examination and further debriefing before they will be allowed to reunite with their parents.

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