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Abducted schoolboys in Nigeria released: presidential aide

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Schoolboys who were abducted in northwest Nigeria were released Thursday, a presidential aide said, although it remained unclear how many.

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“The abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara have been rescued, the Katsina State Government has confirmed the news,” Bashir Ahmaad, personal assistant to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said on Twitter.

But a security source told AFP that some of the children remained in the hands of their captors.

“The bandits just abandoned them in the bush after taking the ransom they asked for,” said the source who asked not to be named.

The source added that the group of children still in custody were being held by a well known criminal, Awwalun Daudawa.

The number of students kidnapped last week in Kankara, Katsina state, remains unclear — 320 or 333, according to two accounts by officials, while locals in Kankara put it at more than 500.

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The attack was initially blamed on criminals, known locally as bandits, but was later claimed by Boko Haram.

The jihadist group released a video on Thursday claiming to show schoolboys seized in the mass kidnapping.

Sources told AFP the operation was carried out by Awwalun Daudawa in collaboration with Idi Minorti and Dankarami, two other crime chiefs with strong local followings, acting on behalf of Boko Haram.

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