Boko Haram release kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

The militants returned nearly all of the 110 Nigerian schoolgirls they kidnapped back in February

Nearly all of the 110 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the town of Dapchi last month have been returned, the government says.

Officials said that at least 101 girls who were abducted were reunited with their families after members of the group released most of the girls early on Wednesday morning.

The militants waved the black and white flag used by the Islamic State and wore balaclavas, military fatigues and ammunition belts.

The girls were later flown to the capital, Abuja, where they were due to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.

The girls were kidnapped on 19 February when armed militants pretending to be soldiers kidnapped them. . The Nigerian government was initially slow to act but then said it would negotiate with the group for the girls. It has denied any ransoms were paid.

Reports suggest at least five girls died during their ordeal, and that a Christian girl remains captive.

Usman Mataba, whose niece was among those returned, said she had talked to the militants. “I approached them and they told me that they had brought all the girls except six – that five had died on the day they were taken,” he said. “They said they discovered they were dead when they arrived at their destination, so they buried them.”

Amnesty International later said four girls were still missing. Locals said Boko Haram also dropped off a boy who had apparently been kidnapped by accident.

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