Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Subscribe now to follow markets, faster and distraction-free. More details

Families wait to be reunited with freed Nigerian schoolboys

GlobalDec 18, 2020 09:00
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

* More than 300 boys abducted from a school on Dec. 11
* Katsina governor says 344 boys were freed
* Islamist militants had claimed responsibility in audiotape

By Ismail Abba
KATSINA, Nigeria, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Nearly 350 kidnapped
Nigerian schoolboys are expected to be reunited with their
families on Friday after security forces rescued them from a
vast forest in the north of the country.
Last Friday night, gunmen raided the Government Science
Secondary School in Kankara town, Katsina state, on motorbikes
and marched the boys into the sprawling Rugu forest, one of the
country's largest woodland areas.
It was one of the biggest mass abductions in recent years.
Katsina Governor Aminu Bello Masari said late on Thursday
that 344 boys had been freed from the forest in neighbouring
Zamfara state. There was still some uncertainty as to whether
all of those abducted had been rescued. NL1N2IX1FD
Photographs released by Katsina state government showed
smiling boys looking out from the back of trucks.
"I couldn't believe what I heard until neighbours came to
inform me that it's true," Hafsat Funtua, mother of 16-year-old
Hamza Naziru, said in a phone interview.
Describing the moment she heard the news, she said she ran
out of her house with joy "not knowing where to go" before
returning home to pray.
Another parent, Husseini Ahmed, whose 14-year-old Mohammed
Husseini was also among those abducted, expressed happiness and
relief that he would soon be reunited with his son.
"We are happy and anxiously expecting their return," he
A Katsina state government spokesman on Friday said the boys
would undergo a medical examination before being reunited with
their parents. He also said they would meet President Muhammadu
Buhari on Friday.
Hours before the rescue of the boys was announced, a video
started circulating online purportedly showing Islamist
militants from Boko Haram with some of the boys. Reuters was
unable to immediately verify the authenticity of the footage,
the boys, or who released it.
In an interview with state TV channel NTA, in which he
announced the release of the captives, Masari said "most" of the
boys had been rescued. But an aide told Reuters early on Friday said they were all
free. "No student is still with the abductors," Katsina state
government spokesman Abdu Labaran said via telephone.
The president posted a tweet on Friday of a video in which
he said he had spoken to the governor and the military to
congratulate them.
"The military is well trained. I am very impressed with the
governor," said Buhari.
Authorities released few details about the rescue operation.
Katsina state's governor said security forces had cordoned
off the area around the boys, and that not a single shot was
Labaran, his spokesman, said questions about the captors and
whether they had been arrested should be directed to the
Armed forces spokesman John Enenche and army spokesman Sagir
Musa did not immediately respond to text messages and phone
calls seeking comment on the military operation.

FACTBOX-What is Boko Haram? violence and insecurity affecting Nigeria

Families wait to be reunited with freed Nigerian schoolboys

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email