Up to 30 students kidnapped by gunmen from their university in northwestern Nigeria two months ago have been released, local state official Samuel Aruwan said in a statement on Wednesday.
The kidnapping of the students of the College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna state in March was one of the massive kidnappings that have hit schools and colleges in Nigeria since late last year.
Ten of the 39 students who were initially kidnapped were found by security forces in the weeks following the attack. But the whereabouts of the remaining 29 were uncertain.
“The Kaduna State Police Command has reported to the Kaduna State Government the release of the remaining students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization,” said local security officer Samuel Aruwan in a statement.
The statement did not include details of how the students were released or their condition.
Heavily armed criminal gangs have become an increasing threat to security in northwestern and central Nigeria, looting villages, raiding livestock and demanding kidnapping for ransom.
Recently, they have turned their attention to rural schools and universities, where they kidnap students or school children.
Kidnapping victims are usually released shortly afterwards during negotiations with local authorities, although government officials always deny that any ransom has been paid.