BORNO, NIGERIA (REUTERS) – Boko Haram militants released 82 schoolgirls out of a group of more than 200 who they kidnapped from the northern town of Chibok in April 2014, officials said on Saturday (May 6), the largest group yet to be freed after years of tense negotiations.
The girls were released through negotiations with the government, one official said, asking not to be named.
The girls were among about 220 students abducted from a secondary school in the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014, sparking a global campaign dubbed #bringbackourgirls supported by then U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and a list of celebrities.
About 21 Chibok schoolgirls were released in October last year in a deal brokered by Switzerland and the International Red Cross, while a handful of others have escaped or been rescued. But about 195 were still missing.
The girls were taken from a school in Chibok in the remote northeastern Borno state where Boko Haram has waged an insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state that has killed thousands and displaced more than 2 million people.