The leader of a notorious armed gang in Zamfara state, in northern Nigeria, is reported to have released more than 50 people who had recently been kidnapped.
Eyewitnesses saw buses full of hostages heading to the state capital, Gusau.
Officials have not said why the group’s leader, Bello Turji, decided to release dozens of people.
“It appears to be part of an effort to persuade the state government to grant him amnesty,” local residents told the BBC.
The Nigerian Air Force says it recently targeted the bases of the criminal gangs behind the frequent kidnappings in which two of the most wanted gang leaders were killed, the BBC reports.