The state government is currently providing food to the children, said Yakubu Sabo, the Kaduna police spokesman. We have identified two of the children to have come from Burkina Faso, while most of them were brought by their parents from across mostly northern Nigerian states.
Sabo said those arrested were teachers at the school.
Reports in local media said the captives had been tortured, starved and sexually abused. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm those reports, though marks that appeared consistent with injuries inflicted by a whip were visible on one boys back.
Islamic schools known as almajiris are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria, the poorest part of the country where most people live on less than $2 a day. Parents often opt to leave their children to board at the schools.
Some parents who had already been contacted went to the school to retrieve their children.
We did not know that they would be put to this kind of harsh condition, one parent told Reuters.
Earlier this year, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, said it planned to eventually ban the schools, but would not do so immediately. It followed a number of reports in the Nigerian media that the government planned to outlaw such schools.