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Nigeria: Security forces rescue nearly 200 hostages

187 people who had been captured by armed bandits in the northwestern state of Zamfara have been rescued by Nigerian security forces on Thursday. Security authorities in the northwestern region have been responding to attacks on schools and villages that result in kidnappings. The agencies have been finding identified bandits with an attempt to eliminate the state of these activities committed by the bandits or any other criminal activity they participate in. 

The 187 hostages included women and children and had spent weeks in captivity. The government shut down telecoms services in Zamfara and other states last month in an attempt to disrupt the activities. The military agencies announced last week nearly 300 criminals had been neutralized during the operations. On Tuesday, however, approximately 100 bandits raided Kuryan Madaro in Zamfara and killed over a dozen people and stole money and cell phones from residents. Neighboring states are beginning to be affected by the violence as the bandits are being pushed into their territories. The gangs have kidnapped hundreds of school children in mass abductions for ransoms and dozens are still being held. Nigerian security agencies are also fighting a 12-year jihadist insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the northwest of the country that has killed over 40,000 people.

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