Nigeria officials have confirmed all 279 Jangebe schoolgirls kidnapped have been released.
The schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Junior Secondary School on Friday in the second mass kidnapping in the past two weeks.
Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle posted an image of the schoolgirls on social media showing them being escorted to the state capitol. He said in his post that everyone in the country should rejoice at the news as their "daughters are now safe."
Matawalle said that all of the girls will be given medical examinations. Matawelle didn't provide any details on how the students were recovered. He said the government worked with the "repentant bandits."
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that the news of the schoolgirls' release brought him "overwhelming joy." He was pleased the ordeal ended without incident.
Buhari said that he is working with government departments to do more to prevent similar incidents. He said that local communities can also help in providing "human intelligence" to prevent such incidents.
"We are working hard to bring an end to these grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping," Buhari said.
Local authorities previously said that 317 students were abducted from the school. However, the number was reduced after authorities found that some of the students were able to escape during the initial attack.
The latest kidnapping comes just nine days after a similar incident in north-central Nigeria. A Nigerian extremist group had stormed a boarding school and kidnapped more than 40 schoolchildren.
Analysts said that the targeting of schoolchildren in Nigeria is worsening. The last major incident involved the kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok by the extremist group Boko Haram in 2014. More than 100 of those that were kidnapped are still missing.
The groups that conduct the kidnappings - called "bandits" by local officials" - typically demand ransom for the return of the children. Between 2011 and 2020, Nigeria has reportedly paid at least $18 million in ransom.