Kidnapped Nigerian schoolboys freed, says Katsina governor

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Hundreds of schoolboys kidnapped in northwest Nigeria were handed over to government security, the Katsina state governor said in a televised interview on Thursday.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari told state channel NTA that a total of 344 boys had been freed.

“We have recovered most of the boys. It’s not all of them,” he said.

But a security source told AFP that some students were still in the hands of their captors.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s assistant Bashir Ahmad said on Twitter the students “had been rescued”.

The abduction last Friday at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina state, was claimed by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in an unverified audio recording.

It was initially blamed on gangs operating in the area, who often kidnap people for ransom.

Boko Haram has become notorious over the last decade for school kidnappings.

In 2014, the group abducted 200 schoolgirls in Chibok.

Its name is loosely translated as “Western education is forbidden”.

Boko Haram’s abductions have taken place in the north-east, where the group is based.