Islamist Boko Haram group releases 300 abducted schoolboys; others still held captive

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SUNDAY ALAMBA, ASSOCIATED PRESS Usama Aminu, 17, a kidnapped student of the Government Science Secondary School who escaped from bandits,

There is rarely good news after jihadists abduct people, but it’s being reported by the Associated Press that more than 300 schoolchildren taken by armed militants in northwestern Nigeria have been released.

Katsina state’s Gov. Aminu Bello Masari made the announcement on Nigerian state TV.

More than 800 students were at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, when it was taken over on Dec. 11 by armed men believed to be with the Boko Haram Islamist group. Hundreds got away, but it was believed more than 330 were taken captive.

“At the moment, 344 of the students have been released and handed over to the security operatives. I think we can say at least we have recovered most of the boys, if not all of them,” said the governor. “The news reaching about an hour ago indicates that all of them have been recovered and they are on their way from the forest area.”

The government had said it was negotiating with the attackers.

The good news came shortly after a video was released by the jihadist rebels of Boko Haram that purportedly showed the kidnapped boys. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

In the video, the captors tell one boy to repeat their demands that the government call off its search for them. A voice tells the boy, clearly under duress, what to say from behind the camera. The youth says they were kidnapped by Boko Haram and that some of those abducted from the Government Science Secondary School were killed.

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