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Boko Haram captives in Nigeria escape

by
11 July 2014

by a staff reporter

AP

Support: the French journalist Valérie Trierweiler wears a T-shirt on Monday that reads "Bring back our girls", referring to the abducted girls

Support: the French journalist Valérie Trierweiler wears a T-shirt on Monday that reads "Bring back our girls", referring to the abdu...

SIXTY-THREE of the women and girls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Nigeria, have escaped their captors, Nigerian officials have said.

The women were not part of the group of 200 schoolgirls whose capture in April by the terrorists (News, 2 May) has caused an international outcry. The 63 were part of a group of 68 women and girls taken during an attack on a village in north-eastern Borno state last month.

The women are thought to have seized their chance to escape during clashes between the Nigerian military and the militants, Agence France-Presse reported.

The 200 schoolgirls captured in April from their boarding school in Chibok have not been found, despite international assistance, and pledges by the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, to find the girls.

Boko Haram is demanding the release of fighters and their relatives in return for the girls, but the government has refused.

The Nigerian press was reporting on Wednesday that the country's National Council of State, made up of past presidents, state governors, and leaders of parliament, was promising to deliver "some good news" very soon about the kidnapped girls.

The Council is "satisfied the security agents know very well where the girls are located", Governor Godswill Akpabio told reporters at a briefing.

At least 3300 people have been killed in Boko Haram-related violence since January. The region is also affected by other conflicts - including a land dispute between farmers and nomadic cattle herders - which have forced thousands to leave their homes. The charity Christian Aid said that it is helping 50,000 people who have fled their homes.

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