The Defence Headquarters, on Sunday, said troops rescued the abducted pupils and teachers of LEA School Kuriga in the Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna within Zamfara State.

On March 7, 2024, about 287 pupils and teachers of the school were abducted by suspected terrorists who took them into the forest.

Their abductors subsequently requested a ransom of N1bn for their release, setting a deadline of March 27, 2024, for the payment.

But the Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj Gen. Edward Buba, in a statement, stated that the victims were rescued in the early hours of Sunday by the troops with support from local authorities and government agencies.

Buba put the number of the rescued victims at 137, comprising 76 female and 61 male, adding that they would be conveyed to Kaduna where they would be handed over to the state government.

The statement read, “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 rescue of the Kaduna pupils is coming a day after troops rescued 16 pupils (Almajiris) with a woman taken hostage in Gada LGA of Sokoto State.

The troops have handed over the rescued victims to the Sokoto State Government.

According to Buba, the recent success of the troops was a testament to their resolve to rescue kidnapped victims across the country.

Buba noted that similar efforts have been put in place to track down those behind the killing of soldiers in Delta State.

He added, “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.”

March 24, 2024

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