28 Abducted Baptist School Students Freed in Nigeria

Parents are reunited with released students of the Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Nigeria, on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Armed kidnappers in Nigeria have released 28 of the more than 120 students who were abducted at the beginning of July from the Bethel Baptist High School in the northern town of Damishi. Church officials handed those children over to their parents at the school on Sunday. (AP Photo)
Parents are reunited with released students of the Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Nigeria, on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Armed kidnappers in Nigeria have released 28 of the more than 120 students who were abducted at the beginning of July from the Bethel Baptist High School in the northern town of Damishi. Church officials handed those children over to their parents at the school on Sunday. (AP Photo)

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Armed kidnappers in Nigeria have released 28 of the more than 120 students who were abducted at the beginning of July from the Bethel Baptist High School in the northern town of Damishi.

Church officials handed those children over to their parents at the school on Sunday. But the Rev. Israel Akanji, president of the Baptist Convention, said more than 80 other children are still being held by the gunmen.

So far 34 children kidnapped from the school on July 5 have either been released or have escaped from the custody of the gunmen. It is unclear when the other children will be released. The gunmen have reportedly demanded 500,000 Naira (about $1,200) for each student.

Akanji said the church did not pay any ransoms because it is opposed to paying criminals, but he added the church was unable to stop the children’s families from taking any actions they deem fit to secure their release.

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Source: Baptist Press, By Ibrahim Garba, Sam Olukoya