21 schoolgirls freed by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist group

By REUTERS
October 14, 2016 16:04
1 minute read.

ABUJA  - Relatives of one of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Islamist militant group Boko Haram after two-and-a-half years in captivity in northeast Nigeria said on Friday they could not wait to be reunited.

Around 220 girls were taken from their school in Chibok in the remote northeastern Borno state, where Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state, killing thousands and displacing more than 2 million people.

Boko Haram released 21 of the girls on Thursday after the Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered a deal with the group. They were brought from the northeastern city of Maiduguri to the capital Abuja to meet government officials.

Travelling from eastern Yola to Abuja, Goni Mutah, the father of Asabe Goni, who was 21 when she was kidnapped, was overjoyed to hear of his daughter's release, and said he had immediately phoned his relatives to share the news.

"Seeing her will bring happiness to us," Samuel, a cousin of Asabe, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Abuja.

"And we will hear about the other girls," he said, adding that his delight at Asabe's release was tinged with sadness because his sister, Margaret, and several other relatives who had been kidnapped in Chibok, were not among the 21 freed girls.

The militant group has kidnapped hundreds of men, women and children but the kidnapping of the Chibok girls brought it worldwide attention, with some 200 of them still missing.


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