The military high command, on Sunday gave an insight into how its troops in collaboration with locals rescued over 137 schoolchildren abducted from LEA School Kuriga in the Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna.

The rescue of the Kaduna pupils came less than 48 hours troops also rescued 16 pupils (Almajiris) with a woman taken hostage in Gada LGA of Sokoto State.

The pupils and teachers of the school were abducted by suspected terrorists who took them into the forest – the development that had generated outrage nationwide.

Following their abduction, the terrorists requested a ransom of N1bn for their release, setting a deadline of March 27, 2024, for the payment, while threatening that they would start killing them one after the other if the ransom was not paid at the given time.

Giving an update Sunday morning, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, a Major-General, said the number of the rescued victims stood at 137, comprising 76 females and 61 males.

The senior military officer, who did not state whether ransom was paid, explained that the troops teamed up with local authorities and government agencies during the operation where Zamfara forests were combed and they were finally rescued in the early hours on Sunday.

While the troops had handed over the rescued victims to the Sokoto State Government, Buba said the rescued Kaduna schoolchildren will also be handed over to Kaduna State government.


He said, “It would be recalled that, on March 7, 2024, troops received information that terrorists had invaded LEA School Kuriga in Chikun LG of Kaduna State During the incident, unconfirmed number of pupils were abducted.

“Following the incident, the military committed to leaving no stone unturned until all the hostages were rescued. Accordingly, in the early hours of March 24, 2024, the military, working with local authorities and government agencies across the country, in a coordinated search and rescue operation, rescued the hostages.

“The hostages are the same persons that were abducted from the school at Kuriga in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. The rescued hostages totalling 137 comprise of 76 females and 61 males were rescued in Zamfara State and would be conveyed and handed over to the Kaduna State Government for further action.”

He noted that the recent success of the troops was a testament to their resolve to rescue kidnapped victims across the country, adding that similar efforts have been put in place to track down those behind the killing of soldiers in Delta State.

“These efforts demonstrate the armed forces’ resolve to find other innocent hostages and track down the terrorists that perpetrated these crimes. These efforts would continue until other hostages are found and the terrorists arrested, tried, and brought to justice by Nigerian law.

“Troops are employing similar efforts to track down the culprits responsible for the killings of 18 soldiers in Okuama Community in Delta State,” Buba said in a statement.



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