Seth Udinski, FISM News
Nigerian law enforcement rescued 187 hostages late last week, providing positive news in the fight against gangs carrying out kidnappings in the region.
The hostages had been held in the woods of the Zamfara state for several weeks but were freed without incident. Officials announced that the victims released without need of a ransom transaction.
Zamfara police spokesperson Mohammed Shehu said,
The police and other security agencies have been carrying out assaults on identified bandits locations in different parts of the state with a view to ridding the state of all activities of recalcitrant bandits and other criminal elements.
Sources say that several babies were among those rescued. According to authorities, the Nigerian police force has made vast improvements in keeping the region safe. This is a tall order, as Nigeria is notorious for rampant kidnappings and other acts of organized crime. Many reports from the region indicate that the organized crime syndicates are better equipped and stronger than law enforcement.
Earlier this year, over 100 Nigerian Christian school students were kidnapped while at school and held hostage. Some were released, but some may still be held hostage even months later, with no word on their status.
Still, Shehu is confident. He said after the rescue,
The new security measures in the state have been yielding tremendous results, as they have led to the successful rescue of many abducted victims that run into hundreds, and (they) have been reunited with their respective families.