Boko Haram Releases 82 Kidnapped Chibok Girls

Published May 7th, 2017 - 09:00 GMT
Two women carrying jerrycans filled with water walk past children in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017. (AFP/Florian Plaucheur)
Two women carrying jerrycans filled with water walk past children in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017. (AFP/Florian Plaucheur)

The Nigerian government said 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram three years ago were released Saturday, though more than 100 are still missing.

Unidentified government officials told multiple news agencies the release came after years of ongoing negotiations between Nigeria's government and leaders of the radical Islamist group. Boko Haram has established a caliphate in northeastern Nigeria and has led an eight-year insurgency against the government.

Boko Haram's stunning raid of a girls' school in the town of Chibok in northern Nigeria in 2014 drew international outcry. It's believed 276 of them were taken captive. The group released 21 of the girls in October after negotiations with the Red Cross. Another 50 or so have escaped on their own since being abducted.

Officials said the girls were driven by caravan to a meeting between their captors and the Nigerian army, which took the girls to an undisclosed location where they are working to reunite them with their families.

Many of the girls who were kidnapped were Christian, but the BBC reported they were encouraged to convert to Islam and marry their kidnappers while they were being held.

By Eric DuVall


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