The governor of Zamfara state has said that all 279 girls who were abducted from the Government Girls’ Science Secondary School (GGSS) in Jangebe last Friday have been released by their captors, largely unharmed.

“Alhamdulillah! It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity,” Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle tweeted on Tuesday morning, accompanied by a photo of state-owned minibuses.

Most of the girls appeared unharmed, but at least a dozen were taken to a hospital for treatment. Many of the girls were without shoes and had been forced to walk great distances by their captors.

On Friday, the police said that 317 girls had been kidnapped but today’s announcement by the governor confirmed that all 279 were freed.

Zamfara state spokesman Sulaiman Tanau Anka told Reuters that a number of girls had escaped into the bush during the assault and that only 279 were held hostage over the weekend.