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Nigerian Schoolboys Talk About Abduction Ordeal

Nigerian Schoolboys Talk About Abduction Ordeal
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After trekking several miles in the bush barefooted, without food or water and numb with pain schoolboys in Nigeria returned home with their families on Saturday after a nightmare ordeal.

More than 340 schoolboys were kidnapped when men armed with AK-47 rifles attacked the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in Kankara village in Katsina state on December 11.

The boys described walking through the bush and different forests, stopping during the days and walking at night without shoes, stepping over thorns and stones.

Thirteen-year-old Usman Mohammad Rabiu was one of the many children reunited with his family on Saturday.

He described the horror ordeal which he says has left him afraid to return to school.

"When they took us they said western education is not important," he said. "Fear gripped me when they said if they see us in school again, that they will kill us."

Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist rebels claimed responsibility for the abduction, saying they attacked the school because they believe Western education is un-Islamic.

Tearful parents rejoiced at the return of their children after more than a week of worry.

"When I heard our boys were freed I was full of joy and happiness because I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat," said Murjanatu Rabiu, mother of freed schoolboy Habubakar Liti.

"We were crying not knowing the condition that they were in. When we saw them we were so happy even though they came back with wounds on their body and very hungry," she added.

The schoolboys met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday who told them they should not be deterred in life by "this little difficulty."

Further concerns have been raised after another attempted abduction was carried out in northwestern Katsina state on Saturday night.

Gunmen abducted more than 80 Islamic school students during the attack but pupils were quickly rescued by security forces after a fierce gun battle, police announced on Sunday.

The incidents have highlighted the insecurity in northern Nigeria.

- AP