One of the schoolgirls abducted by Islamist rebels in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok was freed this week, police and a parent of some of the other missing girls said today.
Boko Haram militants took more than 200 girls from a secondary school in the village near the Cameroon border in April, sparking a worldwide outcry. They have remained in captivity since then. Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has been pilloried for his slow response to the kidnapping and for his inability to quell the violence by the Islamist militants.
“She was found running in a village. She was in the bush for about four days. She’s still receiving medical attention,” said a parent, who has two girls still with the insurgents and who declined to be named. He added that she was now in the north-eastern city of Yola. A police spokesman told reporters in Abuja that the 20-year-old woman was discovered on Wednesday, saying she had been “dropped off by suspected Boko Haram militants” at Mubi in Adamawa state, some 60 miles from Chibok. “Her condition is stable,” he said, without explaining why she might have been released.
In pictures: Nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls
In pictures: Nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls
A total of 276 girls were abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing
One of the kidnapped girls looks into a camera
One of the missing girls talking to the camera
The missing Nigerian schoolgirls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram alleging they had converted them to Islam
Girls wearing the full-length hijab holding a flag reading "There is no god, but Allah" and "Mohammed is Allah's prophet"
A man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau
Abubakar Shekau speaks on the video
Girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying are filmed by an unidentified man (R) in an undisclosed rural location
People carry signs as they attend a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos
A protester demonstrates against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London
Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Prime Minister David Cameron appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme
People participate in a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign demonstration and candlelight vigil in Los Angeles
Girls holding heart shaped banners in a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign demonstration and candlelight vigil in Los Angeles
14/19 South Africa
South Africans protest in solidarity against the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram and what protesters said was the failure of the Nigerian government and international community to rescue them, during a march to the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg
Karilyn Coates (10) joins others in a candlelight vigil for the more than 300 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Colorado Springs
Mothers of the missing Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists gather to receive informations from officials. Nigeria's president said that Boko Haram's mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls would mark a turning point in the battle against the Islamists, as world powers joined the search to rescue the hostages
Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division (3rd L) Obiageli Ezekwesilieze speaks as she leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom in Abuja
18/19 Bring Back Our Girls
Kelly Hoppen tweeted: 'Please make sure you do this, we must stand together and not forget them'
19/19 Bring Back Our Girls
E.L. Rock Star tweeted: 'Join The Movement'
The Islamists offered to release the girls in a prisoner swap in May, but the proposal was rejected by the government.
A military operation in the north-east has so far failed to quell the rebellion and has triggered reprisal attacks that are increasingly targeting civilians, after some of them formed vigilante groups to try to help the government flush out the militants.
Boko Haram has seized several towns in the last two months, although the military said on Wednesday it had pushed the group back and that 135 fighters had surrendered this week in the north-east town of Biu, near the centre of Boko Haram’s campaign to carve out an Islamist state.
The military said Boko Haram had also been trying to take over the town of Konduga, near the Cameroon border, two weeks ago but had been repelled by air and land forces.