100 kidnapped villagers freed after 42-day captivity in Nigeria

Police in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara have said they secured the release of 100 villagers kidnapped in early June following nego...


Police in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara have said they secured the release of 100 villagers kidnapped in early June following negotiations with their abductors.

Mohammed Shehu, spokesman for Zamfara state police, said in a statement on Tuesday the release was “unconditional” and that it had been secured “without giving any financial or material gain” to the gang.The released hostages would undergo medical checks before being reunited with their families, Shehu said.

The group, including women and children, had been brought to a forest hideout after gunmen, locally known as bandits, stormed Manawa village on June 8.

A source familiar with the negotiations told the AFP news agency the bandits agreed to release the kidnapped villagers after the police and state authorities “assured them no action would be taken against them for the kidnap”.

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the Nigerian capital Abuja, said that 24 other people were still to be evacuated from the forest due to their health condition as many were wounded.

The hostages’ release, without payment, could be explained by the government’s increased military activity in the area over the past few weeks, Idris noted, or the result of amnesty schemes granted to bandits in some states, such as in Katsina and Zamfara.

“But many Nigerians believe that that amnesty has not worked, and it’s not working, because many of them [bandits] that have abandoned arms, have taken them again against the state and continued their kidnapping,” Idris added.

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South Punjab News : 100 kidnapped villagers freed after 42-day captivity in Nigeria
100 kidnapped villagers freed after 42-day captivity in Nigeria
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