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