Bandits have released three children that they kidnapped four months ago in Dansadau in Maru Local Government of Zamfara State.
A traditional ruler, Mustapha Umar, who is also an uncle to one of the children, told PREMIUM TIMES late Friday that they were released without ransom after the bandits struck a peace deal with farming communities in the area.
Mr Umar said the children were abducted with dozens of other residents of Dansadau town on July 22.
The traditional ruler said earlier on Wednesday, some bandits operating in Dansadau emirate met with the farming communities and agreed to release their captives.
Mr Umar said the release of the children was the second in a week. He identified the children gave their age as three years but PREMIUM TIMES is withholding their names.
Mr Umar said the children have undergone medical checkup and have been reunited with their families.
The traditional ruler prayed that the ongoing peace dialogue between the bandits and their victims would bring lasting peace to the area and urged the residents to support it.
He, however, did not disclose who initiated the meeting and where it was held.
The Zamfara State government promoted dialogue with bandits under which they were granted amnesty for their atrocities and plied with largesse.
The government, however, abandoned the policy after many of the bandits returned to the forests to resume their lucrative crimes.
In spite of that experience, controversial Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Ahmad Gumi, continues to urge the federal and state governments to declare a blanket amnesty for the brutal outlaws.
The known phone numbers of the police spokesperson in Zamfara, Muhammad Shehu, did not connect since Friday evening as this reporter tried to get his comment on the development.
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