LAGOS, Nigeria – Gunmen in northwestern Nigeria have freed 100 kidnapped victims, many of them nursing mothers and children, who had been held captive for about six weeks.
Zamfara state police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said on Wednesday that the victims had been abducted from Manawa village on June 8.
The government “successfully achieved the unconditional release of the victims” without paying any ransom, he said.
Armed gangs operate in Zamfara and other northwestern and north-central Nigerian states.
Bandits they normally kidnap for ransom are blamed for the recent wave of mass kidnappings of schoolchildren in northern Nigeria.
About 800 children have been abducted from their schools since February, when 27 children and some teachers were taken from a university in Kagara, Niger state.
The most recent mass kidnapping incident occurred on July 5, when 120 students were taken from Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna. Those children are still in detention.