Freed Nigerian schoolboys arrive back home

More than 300 schoolboys kidnapped in Nigeria a week ago have been freed, the governor of the northwestern Katsina state said on Thursday (December 17).

Aminu Bello Masari said that a total of 344 boys held in a forest in neighboring Zamfara state had been handed over to government security agents - but that the number did not account for all of those who had been abducted.

"I think we have recovered most of the boys, it is not all of them."

The boys were taken from the Government Science school in Kankara in an abduction which was claimed by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in an unverified audio recording.

Masari said those that had been freed were on their way back to Katsina state and would be medically examined and reunited with their families on Friday (December 18).

The kidnapping has gripped a nation already angry at widespread insecurity, and evoked memories of Boko Haram's 2014 kidnapping of more than 270 girls in the northeastern town of Chibok.