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Nigeria Chibok girls: At least 80 freed by Boko Haram

Saturday - 06/05/2017 19:52
Islamist militants of the Boko Haram group have released at least 80 schoolgirls from a group of 276 they abducted in north-eastern Nigeria three years ago, officials say.
The abduction of the "Chibok girls" triggered a global outcry
The abduction of the "Chibok girls" triggered a global outcry

The release reportedly came after talks with the government, though few details are confirmed.

The abduction of the so-called "Chibok girls" triggered a global outcry and sparked a huge social media campaign.

Before the latest release, about 195 of the girls were still missing.

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Sources told the BBC that the young women were now in the custody of the Nigerian army.

They were brought by road convoy from a remote area to an army base in Banki near the Cameroon border.

The BBC's Stephanie Hegarty in Lagos says that many families in Chibok will be rejoicing at this latest news, but more than 100 of the girls taken have yet to be returned.

Christian pastor Enoch Mark, whose two daughters were among those kidnapped, told Agence France-Presse: "This is good news to us. We have been waiting for this day. We hope the remaining girls will soon be released." It was unclear whether his daughters had been freed.

A military source told the agency the freed girls would be flown to Borno's state capital of Maiduguri on Sunday.

This file photo taken on May 12, 2014 shows a screengrab taken from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP showing girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location.
GETTY AFP
Some of the girls pictured in May 2014, shortly after their kidnapping
 

After the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok was raided in April 2014, more than 50 girls quickly escaped and Boko Haram then freed another 21 last October, after negotiations with the Red Cross.

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 Muhammadu 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".

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Source: BBC News:

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