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Released Nigerian schoolchildren return home a week after the kidnapping

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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Katsina, Nigeria – Dozens of Kidnapped school children They returned home on Friday, a day after being rescued by security forces in northwest Nigeria.

Television footage showed the boys, many of them wearing light green uniforms and holding blankets, arriving on buses, looking tired but in good condition.

Militants raided a boys’ high school in the town of Kankara, Katsina state, last Friday and drove about 350 of them into Rojo’s vast forest. It was not clear if all of them were recovered in the rescue operation.

None of the boys spoke as they walked from the bus in a row, surrounded by soldiers, to a government building. They waited for a group of their parents to be reunited in another part of town.

“I couldn’t believe what I heard until the neighbors came to tell me it was true,” said Hafsa Fontois, the mother of 16-year-old Hamza Nazero, in a telephone interview.

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She described the moment she heard the news, and said that she left her house with joy, “not knowing where to go” before returning home to pray.

Another father, al-Husseini Ahmed, whose 14-year-old son Muhammad al-Husseini was also among the kidnapped, expressed his happiness and satisfaction at being reunited with his son soon.

“We are happy and anxious for their return,” he said.

Hours before the announcement of the rescue of the boys, a video began circulating on the Internet purporting to show Islamist militants Boko Haram With some boys. Reuters was not immediately able to verify or publish the footage.

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The mass kidnapping increased pressure on the government to deal with militants in the north of the country, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari, who came from Katsina and who said repeatedly that Boko Haram was “technically defeated.”

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