Nigeria leader meets Chibok girls, leaves for medical trip

Nigeria leader meets Chibok girls, leaves for medical trip

This brings to 103 the girls already freed by the Boko Haram militants.

The names of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls newly freed from Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria have been released.

The lawmaker while speaking with Vanguard said, "The swap commanders are five, and not two as reported".

On his part, the chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno state chapter, described yesterday's Sunday Service as the most memorable and joyous in his life time due to the release of the 82 Chibok girls after 3 years in captivity. The negotiators never gave up, the negotiators will continue for the next set after the one secured are made public. Human rights groups have criticised the decision to keep the girls in custody in Abuja, almost 900 kilometres (560 miles) from Chibok.

113 girls are now unaccounted for.

Accounting for three other girls who have since been found, a total of 113 Chibok girls are now missing, although Shekau claimed last August that some had been killed in military air strikes.

The ICRC tweet shows a line of girls wearing shirts with the Red Cross logo walking across a runway to a waiting helicopter. Some 57 of the girls escaped from their captors on the same night, three were rescued through army operations while 21 were freed last October through negotiations.

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President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that he will receive the released schoolgirls in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Some parents did not live long enough to see their daughters released, underscoring the tragedy of the three-year saga. Numerous captive girls, majority Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without ever knowing if they would see their parents again.

Now in its eighth year, Boko Haram's insurgency has sought to create an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria, as well as in the bordering regions of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers. "Our hopes and expectations are high as we look forward to this news being true and confirmed", the campaign said. On Friday, the United States and Britain issued warnings that the extremist group was actively planning to kidnap foreigners in an area of Borno state "along the Kumshe-Banki axis".

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it acted as a neutral intermediary and transported the 82 freed Chibok schoolgirls into the hands of Nigeria's government.

His words: "We are extremely happy to hear the news on the release of the girls; we are grateful to God for showing us this day".

The 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in 2014 are among thousands of people abducted by Boko Haram over the years.

Buhari late a year ago announced Boko Haram had been "crushed", but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

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