Jul 25, 2021 - World

28 kidnapped Nigerian students released

A hand holds a phone with a picture of a girl next to a hanging school uniform

A mother whose daughter was abducted from Bethel Baptist school holds up a picture of her daughter next to her school uniform. Photo: Kola Sulaimon/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty-eight students who were kidnapped by armed gunman from their school in northwest Nigeria were released Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

State of play: Armed gunman stormed Bethel Baptist School on July 5 in Nigeria's Kaduna state and abducted roughly 140 students.

  • In the weeks since the kidnapping, 34 children were released or escaped, per AP.
  • Although Sunday's release freed 28 more students, 81 children remain "in captivity," Rev. Ite Joseph Hayab, a pastor involved in the negotiations for their release, told Reuters.

The big picture: Nigerian schools have become regular targets for kidnappings by armed groups seeking ransom.

  • The kidnapping at Bethel Baptist was the 10th mass kidnapping in Northwest Nigeria, Reuters reports.
  • The attack was also the fourth on an educational institute in Kaduna in the past five months, according to the BBC.
  • Since December, more than 1,000 students have been kidnapped in Nigeria and nine have been killed, per the BBC.
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