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People in Katsina, Nigeria, urging authorities to rescue hundreds of abducted schoolboys on Dec. 17. Photo: Kola Sulamimon/AFP via Getty Images

More than 300 Nigerian schoolboys captured by Boko Haram nearly a week ago were handed over to government security agencies on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the Katsina state governor.

Why it matters: Their release puts to rests fears that the boys would become long-term hostages of the Jihadist group and prompted outpourings of relief across Nigeria.

The state of play: Over 800 students were present at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, when it was attacked on December 11.

  • A man claiming to be a leader in Nigeria’s Boko Haram claimed in an unverified audio message released Tuesday that the armed group was responsible for the kidnapping of over 330 students from an all-boys school in the northwestern state of Katsina last week, the Associated Press reports.
  • Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria and its neighboring countries for years. The group has carried out several mass abductions, including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.
  • Boko Haram has abducted over 1,000 children, according to UNICEF.

The big picture: Gov. Aminu Bello Masari announced in a televised address that 344 of the boys had been handed to authorities in neighboring Zamfara state, more than 100 miles from their school in Katsina state, according to the Journal.

  • Masari added that the liberated boys would be taken to Katsina for immediate medical attention. He and other state governors did not offer details of the deal that secured the boys' release.

What's next: The government plans to coordinate with “the police and also to engage private security firms to safeguard schools” to avoid the “ugly experience of the last six days,” Masari said, per AP.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

11 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 12 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.