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Nigerian police have announced that they have arrested two men suspected of being responsible for the high-profile kidnapping of around 20 students in April 2021 in northwestern Nigeria, and the murder of five of them.

“They both confessed to abducting students from Greenfield University, Kaduna State, and murdering five students before a ransom was paid and the remaining students were released”police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said in a statement late Wednesday.

The two suspects, Aminu Lawal said “Kano” and Murtala Dawu said “Mugala“, involved in several cases of kidnappings, will be brought to justice at the end of the investigation, added Mr. Adejobi, who did not specify when, where or how they were arrested.

In April 2021, armed men stormed Greenfield University in Kaduna, kidnapped around 20 students and killed an employee.

A few days after the attack, the kidnappers had executed five hostages to force the families and the authorities to pay a ransom, which was subsequently obtained.

The remaining 14 students were later released after 40 days in captivity.

Heavily armed criminal gangs, the “bandits“, multiply the attacks in the north-west and the center of Nigeria, looting, kidnapping and killing many villagers.

Last year, the “bandits“have particularly targeted schools and universities to kidnap students en masse in order to obtain ransoms from their parents and the authorities.

In all, around 1,500 students were kidnapped in 2021 by armed men, according to Unicef. While most of the young hostages have since been released for ransom, some still remain in captivity in forests, hideouts of armed groups.

In addition to the fight against banditry, the Nigerian army is deployed on multiple fronts, particularly in the northeast, which has been plagued by a jihadist insurgency for more than 10 years, and in the southeast, where separatist tensions persist.

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