11 kidnap victims rescued in Nigeria

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Police authorities in Nigeria on Monday confirmed that 11 people earlier kidnapped by an armed group in the country’s troubled northwestern state of Zamfara had regained their freedom and were reunited with their family.

The victims, including three children, three women, and five men, were handed over to the governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, on Sunday.

They were abducted by an armed group which had been on the rampage in Shinkafi and Maru local government areas of Zamfara, state police chief Usman Nagogo told Xinhua.

Nagogo said the victims had been in captivity for over two months. The police secured their release following a rescue operation on Saturday.

A statement by the governor’s spokesperson said the victims were first taken to a government-owned hospital before being reunited with their families.

Last Thursday, some 40 kidnap victims were also rescued from the same armed group, according to the police.

Altogether, 51 kidnapped victims had regained freedom in the state since last week.

The state of Zamfara, as well as neighboring Kaduna state, have witnessed a series of attacks by armed groups in recent months.

There have also been recurring incidents of livestock rustling and armed banditry in the region.