Children happy to be home again. Nigeria has brought back around 12,000 of its citizens who fled raids by criminal gangs in the northwest of the country earlier this year.
The authorities in Shimfida village located in Katsina state near the Nigerien border said improved security prompted the voluntary returns since Sunday.
Returnees like Audu Musa, pray for safety: "We are praying to God that all our predicaments come to an end and may we see an end to such predicaments and may God shield us with all his shields of protection."
Outside a makeshift camp at a public school in the Nigerian town of Jibia, thousands boarded buses to go home on Monday. Jibia's political administrator said he expected many more to arrive.
"There are those who are taking refuge in Jibia and those who are in Niger Republic, Bashir Sabi'u starts. Approximately 6,000 refuges are estimated to be in the Niger republic, in Jibia maybe even more, from about 6000 and those people in Niger Republic are on their way back, we are expecting their arrival to send them onto Shimfida."
Despite military operations, reports that criminal gangs known locally as bandits are still active in the wider region of northern Nigeria continue to emerge.
Insecurity has disrupted agriculture and food supplies in Katsina state and around, deepening malnutrition. Rural northwest Nigeria has been ravaged by gangs of bandit militias who raid villages, loot cattle and kidnap people.
Over the past two years, violence has displaced almost one million people in northwest and central Nigeria, while an additional 80,000 have fled across the border to Niger.