Fifteen kidnapped students of the Bethel Baptist High School have been released by bandits.

Recall that the bandits released 28 of the students on Sunday, July 25, after N50m ransom was paid, and 20 days in captivity

The students were 121 in number, according to the president of the Kaduna Baptist Conference, Rev. Ishaya Jangado, who is also the proprietor of the school.

They were kidnapped in the early hours of July 5, 2021 around 2am at the school premises along the Kaduna-Kachia highway, Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

The chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. John Hayab, said the 15 students were released on Saturday night by the bandits.

– Death in captivity –

On Wednesday nine pupils of an Islamic seminary were seized by motorcycle-riding attackers in Katsina state, the second such incident in as many month

Many hostages remain captive, including more than 136 children abducted in June from an Islamic seminary in Tegina in central Niger state, four of whom have died in captivity.

On Friday the gangs asked the seminary to send clothing for the schoolchildren who have been in the same clothes for months, according to one of the parents.

“They phoned the head of the school and told him to ask parents to send the children new clothes as the one they have been wearing are in shreds,” Maryam Mohammed, whose seven children are among the hostages, told AFP.

The violence in northwestern and central Nigeria is rooted in clashes between nomadic cattle herders and local farmers over land and water. But violence has spiralled into widespread tit-for-tat attacks, mass kidnapping and banditry. 

Kidnap gangs are driven by financial motives though there are signs of increasing ties between them and Islamist militants fighting a 12-year insurgency in the country’s northeast. That conflict has killed around 40,000 people and displaced more than two million from their homes.