Authorities in northwest Nigeria say they have freed 100 women and children – mostly breastfeeding mothers – who were abducted by bandits.
The group was kidnapped on June 8 in the state of Zamfara. Four people were also killed during the accident.
The Zamfara state government said they were released without any ransom being paid, but gave no further details.
The group will now undergo medical examinations and debriefings before they return home.
There have been a series of kidnappings in the region in recent months.
Since December 2020, more than 1,000 people have been kidnapped. Most were later released, after the ransom was paid, and some were reportedly killed.
The authorities blamed these incidents on bandits, a loose term for kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers and other armed militias operating in the area that are largely money-driven.
Since the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok Secondary School in 2014 by Islamist militants from Boko Haram in Borno State, more and more armed groups have resorted to mass kidnappings of students.
President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the army to expel the criminals in Zamfara and the neighboring states of Kaduna and Katsina.
Earlier this week, while raiding a criminal gang, Nigerian Air Force plane shot down On the borders of Zamfara and Kaduna states. The pilot survived the attack by exiting the plane and fleeing to safety.