Nigerian police rescued at least 84 school children who were abducted on Saturday.
Authorities say the children were kidnapped while they were returning home to Mahuta village after taking part in a religious ceremony.
The children were released following a gun battle between the abductors, security forces and local vigilantes.
It is the second mass kidnapping in Nigeria’s Katsina state in eight days.
On Friday, 344 schoolboys who had been kidnapped from their boarding school in Kankara town a week beforehand were released.
In a statement following the latest abductions, Katsina state police said that at least 80 of those abducted were students of an Islamic school called Hizburrahim Islamiyya.
The force also said the armed kidnappers had also stolen 12 cows from nearby Danbaure village.
Police did not reveal more about the attackers’ identities or their motives, referring to them only as “bandits”.
Most kidnappings by “bandits” are done for ransom. In the past some leaders of bandit groups, who engage in kidnapping and attacks on farming communities, have openly met governors and other state authorities to negotiate.
Deadly clashes in north-western Nigeria have increased in recent years as warring farmers and herdsmen have employed armed vigilantes.
A local vigilante group who pursued the attackers on Saturday said a total of 113 people had been abducted, a higher number than the 84 announced by police, AFP quoted.