The Police Command in Zamfara said it had rescued 26 additional kidnap victims from bandits in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Nagogo, made this known while handing over the victims to the state government in Gusau on Tuesday.
Nagogo said that the victims were released by the bandits through peace dialogue initiated by the state government.
He said that 18 of the victims were released by the bandits in Aljimma village in Maradun Local Government Area, while eight were handed over to the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, by the bandits.
“I am just from Aljimma village where I received these victims personally from the bandits.
“On my way, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, called and told me that there were other captives released by the bandits to him from Niger Republic.
“As I always say, since the use of force has not achieved peace in the state, dialogue is the only option to address this,” he said.
“With this development, we can say that the total number of persons rescued from bandits so far is 226,” he added.
The commissioner thanked the repentant bandits, members of the Vigilante Groups and Civilian Joint Task Force for “understanding the dialogue’’.
One of the freed victims, Rabiu Abdullah, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he and 17 others were kidnapped in Gamagiwa town in Maradun Local Government Area 31 days ago.