Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls rescued days after kidnapping

Hundreds of schoolgirls that were kidnapped at gunpoint in Nigeria have been rescued, authorities said.

The 279 girls were abducted on Friday by armed men who raided their state-run school in Nigeria’s northwest Zamfara State, a high-ranking government official with knowledge of the incident told CNN.

Yusuf Idris, a spokesman for the regional governor, said Tuesday the girls had been safely returned and were all accounted for. He did not comment when asked whether a ransom was paid for their release.

The girls’ abduction is the latest in a string of similar kidnapping cases in Nigeria. At least 42 people were kidnapped from a state-run school last month and later released, and more than 300 schoolboys were taken and later freed in December.

These incidents have raised questions about the safety of schools in parts of northern Nigeria.

In a statement released on social media Friday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the girls’ abduction was “inhumane and totally unacceptable.”

“This administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments,” Buhari said in the statement, which was posted by his official spokesperson.