Over 300 boys kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are travelling back home under military escort after being released by their captors.

The assault last Friday on a rural school in Kankara, Katsina state in northwest Nigeria, was initially blamed on criminal gangs who have terrorised the region for years.

But on Tuesday Boko Haram, the brutal jihadist group behind the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014, claimed responsibility for the raid.

After a six-day ordeal, local officials last night said the boys had been released.

A cavalcade of buses is transporting the children home

"344 are now with the security agencies and will be moved to Katsina this night," state governor Aminu Bello Masari said.

In an interview with state channel NTA, the governor added: "I think we have recovered most of the boys, it's not all of them."

Those who were released, "will be given proper medical attention and care before being reunited with their families," he added.

"This is a huge relief to the entire country & international community," President Muhammadu Buhari said on Twitter.

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