MAHUTA, 20 December 2020 – Police in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Katsina say they have rescued 84 schoolchildren who were kidnapped by gunmen on Saturday.
The children were kidnapped as they returned home to their village, Mahuta, after taking part in a religious ceremony.
Police say the children were released after a gun battle between the abductors, social forces and village vigilantes.
The Mahuta village kidnapping is the second mass abduction in Katsina state in eight days.
On Friday, 344 schoolboys who had been kidnapped from all-boys boarding school in Kankara town were released and reunited with their parents and families.
The police said the abductors, whom they described as “bandits”, providing no further details on who they were, had also stolen 12 cows from nearby Danhaure village.
Nigerian security forces hold that most kidnappings in the country are done by “bandits” for ransom.
A report Sunday by the French News Agency (AFP) said a total of 113 people were abducted in Mahuta village.
Security forces have not confirmed an exact number, would not comment on the number provided by the local vigilante and would not say if any of the abductors or those taken hostage had been killed in the gun battle that resulted in the release of the 84 schoolchildren.