Friday, 22 September, 2017

Nigerian official says more Chibok girls have been released

Nigerian official says 62 Chibok girls have been released Nigerian official says 83 Chibok girls have been released
Damon Campbell | 07 May, 2017, 13:30

More Chibok schoolgirls have been released three years after their abduction by Boko Haram extremists, though the exact number is not immediately known, Nigerian officials said.

A Nigerian official said that while some girls had been released by Boko Haram they had not yet reached the Borno state capital of Maiduguri. "Our hopes and expectations are high as we look forward to this news being true and confirmed", the campaign said. The Nigerian Army took the girls into custody at the border town of Banki, and it has been reported that they will travel to Abuja for medical evaluations and family reunions.

Women grieve during the one-year anniversary of the abduction of the girls.

A total of 276 girls were kidnapped from the village of Chibok in April 2014.

The girls, according to government sources, were released Saturday after negotiation with the militants. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers. It has put tremendous pressure on Nigeria's government to counter the extremist group, which has roamed large parts of the north and into neighboring countries.

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The campaign for the return of the girls drew the support of then US First Lady Michelle Obama and many Hollywood stars.

Last month, President Buhari said the government remained "in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed".

Numerous captive girls, majority Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without knowing if they would see their parents again.

Buhari late a year ago announced Boko Haram had been "crushed", but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, Vanguard is reporting that officials in the presidency are still trying to confirm the release of 82 Chibok girls. Its insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

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