The released hostages were kidnapped on June 8 and they will now undergo a medical examination before being reunited with their families.
Police in Zamfara State in northwestern Nigeria stated that after negotiating with the kidnappers, they have ensured that the 100 villagers kidnapped in early June were released.
Mohamed Shehu, a spokesman for the Zamfara state police, said in a statement on Tuesday that the release was “unconditional” and “no economic or material benefits were given to the gang.”
Shehu said that the released hostages will undergo medical examination before being reunited with their families.
On June 8, after gunmen called bandits attacked Manawa Village, the group, including women and children, was taken to a forest hideout.
A source familiar with the negotiations told AFP that the bandits agreed to release the kidnapped villagers after the police and state authorities “assured them that they would not take action on the kidnapping incident.”
In recent years, northwest and central Nigeria have fallen victim to gangs of cattle thief and kidnappers who attacked villages, killed and kidnapped residents, and stole livestock after looting and burning houses.
Criminals have begun to focus on assaulting schools and kidnapping students for ransom. Hostages are usually released after paying the ransom, and those whose family members do not pay the ransom are often killed by the kidnappers.
These groups operate in camps in the vast Rugu Forest, which spans the states of Zanfala, Katsina, and Kaduna in Nigeria, as well as neighboring Niger.
On Monday, 13 policemen were ambushed and killed by a gang in Zamfara state as they deployed to protect a village from an impending attack.
The Nigerian Air Force has attacked bandit camps in the past, and some northern states have tried to negotiate with these groups by offering amnesties in exchange for disarmament. But neither the military deployment nor the peace agreement attempted to end the violence.
The Air Force said that in the past two weeks, daily and nightly flights over Zafala, Kaduna, and Katsina have “eliminated” hundreds of bandits.
on Sunday, Fierce gunfire from bandits This caused a Nigerian fighter jet to crash in the northwest, but the pilot was ejected from the plane.
These gangs are not the only threat in the northern part of the country. The armed group Boko Haram and its secessionist Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) have also been attacking for years.
According to the United Nations, armed groups have forced nearly 2.4 million people in Nigeria and neighboring countries to flee.