Originally published in World
More than 300 boys kidnapped a week ago from a boarding school in northern Katsina state, Nigeria are free, state officials reported late yesterday.
State governor Aminu Masari told local media that officials transported the 344 boys to the state capital to receive medical care before reuniting with their families. The gunmen stormed the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in the village of Kankara last Friday.
How were they released?
Masari said soldiers and government officials negotiated with the kidnappers and insisted the government did not pay any ransom. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction, but government officials blamed regional bandits with a record of kidnapping. Since the incident, Katsina and three neighbouring states shut down all boarding schools to avoid similar attacks.
In an earlier report, calling for prayer for the abducted boys, Open Doors speculated that the crime might be part of general lawlessness in the nation rather than religious persecution usually associated with Boko Haram.