Although, it’s unclear how many boys remain, more than 300 Nigerian schoolboys were released on Thursday, six days from day of abduction, after being abducted in an attack claimed by Boko Haram, officials said.
The abduction happened last Friday in a rural school in Kankara, Katsina state in northwest Nigeria. But on Tuesday Boko Haram, the brutal jihadist group behind the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014, claimed responsibility for the raid.
It was unclear how many boys were kidnapped. Initial reports said 333, then 340 and now: “344 are now with the security agencies and will be moved to Katsina this night,” state governor Aminu Bello Masari said.
In an interview with state channel NTA, the governor added: “I think we have recovered most of the boys, it’s not all of them.”
President Buhari’s official spokesman Garba Shehu said on Twitter “the northwest now presents a challenge which his administration is determined to deal with. It is unfortunate that the bandits and terrorists continue to get weapons even under the circumstances of the border closure. We are going to dare them.”
Many parents of the missing students in Kankara said they had long feared an attack, given escalating violence in the region.
#BringBackOurBoys started trending on social media earlier this week, in reference to a similar hashtag after the Chibok kidnappings.
The general consensus online was: “Mr President has failed us.”