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Nigeria troops rescue dozens of kidnap victims

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Nigerian troops have rescued sixty-four women and children who were kidnapped by criminal gangs weeks ago in northwestern Zamfara state, a government spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

Early last month gunmen raided the remote Gidan Danzara village in the Zurmi district of Zamfara, taking sixty-four captive and demanded ransom for their release.

Zamafara State governor’s spokesman Suleiman Bala Idris said the captives were released on Tuesday following a “military onslaught” on bandit camps in the area. Idris denied any ransom was paid.

The criminal gangs, who maintain hidden camps in a vast forest straddling Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger states, are notorious for mass abductions, even targeting schools and colleges.

“All the sixty-four women and children kidnapped from the village were released by their captors due to the military operations conducted by troops in the area,” Idris said.

He said a massive deployment of troops to Zamfara in the past week had “changed the trend” with troops taking the battle to bandit camps.

“This strategy has put pressure on the terrorists, forcing them to flee to neighbouring states and abandoning their captives,” he said.

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