KADUNA, Nigeria, September 18 (Reuters) – Bandits have freed 10 other students kidnapped two months ago from a Baptist school in northwest Nigeria, the school administrator told Reuters on Saturday.
The Reverend John Hayab, administrator of Bethel Baptist High School, said 21 students at the school remained in captivity. He said an undisclosed ransom was paid to release eight students while two others were released due to health concerns.
Last month, bandits freed 15 students from the school after a group of 28 was released in July following the release of an initial group of 28 two days after the raid. Read more
About 150 students were reported missing after gunmen attacked a school in July in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, the 10th mass kidnapping at a school since December, which authorities attributed to criminal gangs seeking to obtain ransom. Read more
“They are looking for more money, which is why they are releasing them in batches,” Hayab said.
He previously said the kidnappers were seeking 1 million naira ($ 2,433) per student. Read more
Schools have become the target of mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups. Such kidnappings in Nigeria were first carried out by the jihadist group Boko Haram, then by its Islamic State affiliate in West Africa Province, but the tactic has now been adopted by other criminal gangs.
UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, said on Wednesday that one million Nigerian children could miss school this year as the new mandate begins amid an increase in mass kidnappings in schools and insecurity. Read more
($ 1 = 411.00 naira)
Reporting by Ardo Hazzad in the Bauchi and Maiduguri newsroom Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha Editing by Leslie Adler
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