The jihadist group responsible for the kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian schoolchildren released 344 of them on Thursday evening.

According to several sources, other schoolchildren remain prisoners despite the ransom paid by the authorities.

Students kidnapped a few days ago in northwestern Nigeria were released Thursday, a presidential adviser said.

The kidnapping was claimed by the jihadist group Boko Haram.

A total of 344 students were released by their captors, a local official said Thursday in Katsina state.

However, some sources claim that schoolchildren remain in the hands of their kidnappers. 

Some students would remain in the hands of the kidnappers

"Students kidnapped from Kankara State Boys High School have been rescued, the Katsina State government has confirmed the news," Bashir Ahmaad, personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Twitter.

A security source nevertheless told AFP that some students were still in the hands of their captors.

"We have 344 students, they are currently being examined in Zamfara. We thank God for their release," said Ibrahim Katsina, an adviser to the local governor.

"The bandits have just abandoned them in a forest area after receiving the ransom they demanded," a source said on condition of anonymity.

According to this source, the teenagers still in the hands of the kidnappers are being held by gang leader Awwalun Daudawa.

Their exact number remains unclear, the authorities announcing earlier 333 missing students, then 400 Thursday morning.

"Bandits" operating for Boko Haram

According to AFP information, this mass kidnapping which occurred last Friday was coordinated by this gang leader, in collaboration with two other renowned bandits, Idi Minoriti and Dankarami, armed groups which terrorize populations in northwestern Nigeria. , and commit kidnappings for ransom and cattle rustling.

Hundreds of minors, middle and high school students, were kidnapped Friday evening by armed men, nicknamed "bandits" in this region of Nigeria, operating for the jihadist group Boko Haram, whose area of ​​influence is hundreds of kilometers away. further east.

They were abducted from their boarding school in Kankara.

Boko Haram released a video on Thursday that purportedly showed dozens of kidnapped teenagers.

In this video, a young boy explains that he is one of 520 students kidnapped by "the Shekau gang", named after the historic leader of Boko Haram.