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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.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2021 - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

4 mins ago - World

Blinken speaks with Sudan prime minister after his release

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke on the phone on Tuesday evening with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after the military released him from custody.

Why it matters: Hamdok’s release was a result of pressure on Sudan’s military leader General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan from the U.S. and other countries but also from the different political parties in Sudan and massive protests in the streets.

Updated 43 mins ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.