Lagos, Aug. 27, (dpa/GNA) – More than 100 kidnapped children have been released from captivity in Nigeria, an education official told dpa on Friday.
Umar Idris, the director of the Islamic Salihu Tanko Islamiyya school in the city of Tegina in the north-western state of Niger, confirmed the news, but it was unclear whether the children were freed after a ransom payment.
A total of 136 girls and boys were kidnapped from the school in May. A number of children, the youngest among them 3 years old, died in captivity, according to Nigerian authorities, while another 16 were able to escape, Idris said.
The abduction of children during school robberies are common in Africa's most populous country. Behind it are both Islamist terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and criminal gangs who are pushing for ransom.
The most spectacular case occurred in 2014, when the Islamist terrorist militia Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls.
Since the beginning of the year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of abductions. Authorities estimate that around 1,000 children have been kidnapped since December 2020.