The Nigerian military reportedly rescued one more Chibok schoolgirl near its border with Cameroon, weeks after Boko Haram released twenty one girls abducted in 2014.
Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying: “Nigerian army troops rescued another Chibok schoolgirl at Pulka.” Usman added that more details of the rescue operation will be released later.
The terror group released 21 girls in October after a deal was brokered by the International Committee of Red Cross and the Swiss government.
The Nigerian extremist group kidnapped around 270 girls from their school in Chibok in northern Nigeria in April 2014. As many as 57 girls were escaped the day itself, while the remaining 219 were taken into the Sambisa forest by gunmen. More than 200 are still missing.
The Nigerian officials said the country was negotiating for the release of about 83 of the girls.
“These 21 released girls are supposed to be talebearers to tell the Nigerian government that this faction of Boko Haram has 83 more Chibok girls,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said earlier.
According to media reports, few of the abducted are believed to have been killed in strikes carried out be Nigerian Airforce on militants’ positions. Many believe that the girls would have been forced into marriage with Boko Haram fighters.
Earlier, in a video released by the militant group, its leader Abubakar Shekau, announced that the girls were ‘slaves’ and demanded the release of Boko Haram fighters in exchange.
The Chibok mass kidnapping is considered to be the second largest of this kind after Damasak mass abduction in 2014, where at least 400 people, mostly schoolchildren, were kidnapped.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, ISIS and Boko Haram are responsible for more than half of all fatalities from terrorist attacks worldwide.