27 kidnapped victims rescued in Nigeria: police

ABUJA, NIGERIA - MAY 22: A Police officer stand guards during a demonstration that Nigerians demand release of Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by extremist militants Boko Haram in capital Abuja, Nigeria on May 22, 2014. The protesters called for the safe return of the girls and for the Nigerian government to play a more active role in helping to return the girls to their families. (Photo by Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Nigerian police confirmed on Monday 27 persons earlier kidnapped by gunmen from a secondary school in the country’s northwestern state of Kaduna had regained their freedom.

A group of unidentified gunmen stormed the Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi town, Chikun local government area, in the early hours of Monday, taking away an unknown number of students, the police said Monday.

Mohammed Jalige, a police spokesperson in Kaduna, who updated the figure in a statement sent to Xinhua, said security operatives were immediately mobilized to the area after the police received a report that armed bandits gained access into the school.

“The gunmen overpowered the school’s security guards and made their way into the students’ hostel, where they abducted an unspecified number and took them to the forest,” Jalige said.

According to the police spokesperson, a joint team of the Nigeria police, army and navy succeeded in rescuing 26 students and a female teacher safely while in pursuit of the attackers.

He said the rescue operation is still ongoing to ensure that all victims are safely returned.

Strategic measures will be in place to forestall further occurrence of “such a dastardly act of criminality against innocent children,” he said.

There have been a series of gunmen attacks in Nigeria in recent months, leading to deaths and kidnappings.