Kidnapped Sisters Regain Freedom

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One of the sisters (2nd left) was later killed.

ABUJA, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – The Nigerian police has said the kidnapped five sisters have regained their freedom, after being abducted in Abuja, the county’s capital.

The police say they successfully rescued the sisters.

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The girls were freed in a joint police-army operation in a forest in northern Nigeria on Saturday night.

They were six taken from their home on the 2nd of January, 2024 but one was later killed.

The kidnappers had demanded a ransom for their release, but the statement made no mention of one being paid.

The police said the girls had been reunited with their family following the operation, which took place near the Kajuru forest in Kaduna State at around 23:30 local time (22:30 GMT) last Saturday night.

The six sisters, aged from the early teens to 23, were taken hostage alongside their father, Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, at the family home in Bwari, a suburb of Abuja.

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Witnesses say the girls’ uncle ran to find help but was ambushed and killed, as were three police officers.

The kidnappers released Mansoor on the condition he raise a large ransom, but his 21-year-old daughter, Nabeeha, a final year university student, was then killed as a warning.

Hundreds of persons have been abducted in recent years in the country, mostly by criminal gangs who see it as an easy way to make money. It has been particularly bad in the north-west of the country.

The case of the Al-Kadriyar sisters prompted widespread anger in the country, with many arguing that the kidnapping emergency has continued, despite government promises to bring it to an end.

First Lady Remi Tinubu urged security agencies to “intensify their efforts” to end the kidnapping and security crisis, and demanded a “swift return of the Al-Kadriyar sisters”.

The ransom for the girls’ return was set at 65m naira ($68,000; £53,000), leading to many Nigerians donating to a crowdfunding initiative.

However, Defence Minister Mohammed Badaru Abubakar urged people not to contribute towards the ransom, saying it would “only worse the situation”.

“We believe we have to stop – as painful as it is. We have to stop responding to payment on ransom. If we stop, over time the kidnapping will not be profitable and they will stop,” he said.

No matter how desperate the circumstances, Nigerian law prohibits the payment of ransom money. However, many victims pay up because they do not trust authorities to secure the release of their loved ones.

There has now been an outcry that the insecurity has reached the capital, prompting Abuja’s police force to launch a special squad to tackle the kidnapping gangs.

Mr Abubakar said he believed operations against the gangs elsewhere had forced them to move to areas near the capital.

“The security agencies are working very hard to push them out and block the movements and finish them off once and for all,” he said.

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