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Kidnapping Ordeal Comes to an End for Nigerian Families

A Nigerian gang has freed the remaining 23 people it had held for six months since attacking a train in northern Kaduna state. Gunmen initially took more than 60 people from the train and authorities have negotiated for months with the gang to win their release. Relatives of the victims welcomed their release but have also had strong words about growing insecurity in Nigeria. The victims were released Wednesday evening, more than 180 days after they were abducted when armed men attacked their train. Usman Yusuf, the secretary of a seven-member government-led committee that negotiated their release, said security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation worked together to rescue the victims. Their abduction had triggered national and international criticism of the government. Their release has been welcomed by many, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who said on Twitter, “I am delighted by this news and we are all grateful to the security agencies.” President Buhari had opposed suggestions to deploy military force in search of the remaining abductees, citing fears the victims could be caught up in a crossfire. Authorities said the rescued victims would be reunited with their families after medical examinations have been conducted.