Hundreds of schoolboys who were kidnapped in northwestern Nigeria nearly a week ago have been released, a local official said late on Thursday, prompting joy and relief for families that had been praying for the boys’ safe return. A security aide to the governor told the AFP news agency that 344 students, who were kidnapped last Friday from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, were rescued and that the boys were on their way back to Katsina state where they would be medically examined before being reunited with their families on Friday.