Nigeria | The 137 released students have been reunited with their families

(Abuja) The 137 students kidnapped on March 7 by armed gangs in north-west Nigeria and released on Sunday must return to their homes on Thursday after having received care and reunited with their loved ones, announced a spokesperson for the local governor.

The children, from Kuriga sector, underwent medical examinations in the regional capital Kaduna, where they were reunited with their loved ones.

“It was extremely emotional,” said a spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, adding that the children were due to return home on Thursday.

Six of them had to be hospitalized to treat injuries sustained during captivity. An adult kidnapped with the group of children died, according to authorities.

On March 7, dozens of armed men burst into a school in Kuriga, forcibly taking away the students and this adult.

Initial estimates reported more than 280 students kidnapped, before the toll was reduced to 137 children, 76 girls and 61 boys.

Nigeria, which is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 30 years, is facing a surge in kidnappings for ransom.

Officially, the payment of ransoms has been prohibited since a law adopted in 2022 and the authorities deny any payment when the hostages are released following negotiations with the kidnappers.

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