More than 60 Nigerian girls and women who were kidnapped by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have managed to escape.
Nigerian security forces and federal government officials had denied reports of the mass abduction from three villages in the northeast state of Borno on June 22.
Chibok local government chairman Pogu Bitrus said Monday he had verified that about 60 women and girls escaped on Thursday and Friday by sending a representative who met with some of the escapees and their families at the hospital in Lassa, a town in the neighboring Damboa local government area.
Vigilante leader Abbas Gava in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, said Sunday that vigilantes in the area told him 63 women and girls escaped Friday while their captors were engaged in a major attack on a military barracks and police headquarters in Damboa town.
For months, Boko Haram extremists had been conducting small-scale kidnappings. The kidnapping of more than 200 women in April drew international condemnation of Nigeria’s government handling, or lack of, of the kidnappings.
At least 219 of those girls are still missing. The Nigerian government has closed the case.
Check back for updates.
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