Bandits free 10 Bethel Baptist students

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Reprieve came the way of ten more students of Bethel Baptist Secondary School, Kaduna, abducted by bandits July 5.

The students regained their freedom on Saturday, after spending about 75 days in the custody of armed men who invaded the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Police authorities in Kaduna have yet to make any comment on the release of the students.

But a senior official of the school told Channels Television that the students were released after an undisclosed amount of money was paid to the bandits.

He explained that following their release, the students were reunited with their parents and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Recall that 121 students were forcefully taken away from their hostels when the school came under attack by the assailants who later released 28 of them on July 25, after a ransom was reportedly paid to them.

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Thereafter, 15 additional students regained freedom from the captivity of their abductors on August 22.

More students were later freed, and the release of the new batch of students on Saturday brings the total number of students who have regained freedom so far to 100.

However, 21 other students of the school are held back in the custody of the bandits.

The spate of kidnapping for ransom payment spiked recently in Kaduna, with schoolchildren as targets for bandits.

Although authorities in the state have insisted that they will neither negotiate nor pay any money to the criminals, those whose families are victims have had a contrary view.

For such people, they are ready to consider all options that can lead to the release of their loved ones, not ruling out the payment of ransom.

Kaduna is not the only state battling banditry. These criminals have also attacked schools in other parts of the North West and North Central, with Zamfara among the worst-hit states.

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