Gunmen have released girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwest Nigerian state of Zamfara, the governor said in a tweet on Tuesday. 

Iran Press/Africa: An armed gang abducted 279 girls from the Government Girls Science Secondary (GGSS) School in the town of Jangebe in northwestern Nigeria at around 1 am local time on Friday, AFP reported.

"Alhamdulillah! It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity", Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle said on Twitter.

"This follows the scaling of several hurdles laid against our efforts. I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are now safe," he said.

The governor's tweets did not state the number of girls that had been released. The messages included images of girls and small buses.

An AFP reporter saw hundreds of girls wearing hijabs, gathered at the government premises.

Authorities initially said 317 girls were abducted in Friday's raid by hundreds of gunmen. But Matawalle said the "total number of female students abducted" was 279.

Government officials had been in talks with the kidnappers – known as bandits – following Nigeria's third school attack in less than three months.

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