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Freed Nigerian schoolgirls reunited with their families

Parents relieved to have their daughters back.   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Nigeria

Hundreds of teenage girls abducted last Friday from their boarding school in north-western Nigeria were reunited with their families on Wednesday.

State Governor Bello Matawalle announced the release of 279 girls on Tuesday, claiming that all were accounted for.

Parents could be seen scrambling to enter the school building to find their daughters - eager to confirm their safe return.

Abdullahi Anka, the father of three released schoolgirls, said he is happy to have his three children back - although he has not seen all of them.

"Yeah, I hold her. I hold two of them. I was asking them, why is it (only) two of my daughters, you are three. They say, 'we (were not) in the same motor'. So, I said, 'what's happening?' She said, 'they are inside'. So that's why I released them to get inside the hall because I need to see them inside."

Zamfara Officials said “bandits” were behind the abduction, referring to the groups of armed men who operate in the region — stealing livestock on a large scale and carrying out kidnappings for ransom or to push for the release of their members from jail.

Criminal activity has persisted for more than a decade in the northern regions.

This latest mass abduction triggered the trauma of the Chibok incident in 2014 when the jihadi group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 high school girls.

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