tstorms
Tuesday May 23rd, 2017 10:29PM

Nigerian official says 62 Chibok girls have been released

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — At least 62 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists in northern Nigeria have been released into military custody, authorities said late Saturday. Family members said they were eagerly awaiting a list of names and "our hopes and expectations are high."

Nearly 200 of the schoolgirls had remained captive after the first negotiated release of 21 girls in October. At the time, Nigeria's government said another group of 83 girls would be released "very soon."

"Huge numbers," the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted late Saturday.

A Nigerian official who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists confirmed that at least 62 had been freed. The number could not be independently confirmed by The Associated Press.

Another official with direct knowledge of the rescue operation said the schoolgirls were found near the border town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon.

"The location of the girls kept changing since yesterday when the operation to rescue them commenced," said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the announcement.

Many of the kidnapped girls, most of whom were Christians, were forced to marry the Islamic extremists and became pregnant. Human rights advocates believe others could be among the young girls who have been used to carry out suicide bombing attacks.

The group representing the families of the girls said they were awaiting direct confirmation from the government.

"Our hopes and expectations are high as we look forward to this news being true and confirmed," said Sesugh Akume with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

The Nigerian government has denied that a ransom was paid in the October release and that it freed some detained Boko Haram fighters in exchange for the girls. The negotiations were mediated by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

At the three-year anniversary of the kidnapping in April, the government said negotiations had "gone quite far" but faced challenges.

The 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in northern Nigeria in April 2014 are among thousands of people abducted by the Nigeria-based Boko Haram over the years.

Buhari late last year announced Boko Haram had been "crushed," but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries. Its insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

___

Uguru reported from Warri, Nigeria.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Experts: Convicting ex-officer in teen's death will be tough
Legal experts say authorities who've charged a white suburban Dallas police officer with murder in a black teenager's death face a tough task in getting a conviction
5:57PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Soggy Kentucky Derby day doesn't dampen party for some fans
Ponchos and rain boots are in fashion on a day usually devoted to sundresses and fancy suits at the Kentucky Derby
5:53PM ( 13 minutes ago )
French cybersecurity agency to probe Macron hacking attack
France's election campaign commission says "a significant amount of data" from the campaign of centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been leaked on social networks following a hacking attack
5:51PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Rain comes again before Kentucky Derby
Fans are breaking out their ponchos again as Churchill Downs has been soaked by another round of showers before the Kentucky Derby
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Arklow wins $300K turf race at Churchill Downs
A switch to turf turned Arklow into a stakes winner
4:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kanye West's Twitter, Instagram accounts go dark
Kanye West has apparently deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts, for reasons unknown
4:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Woman march in Venezuelan capital against socialist govt
Women are massing in Caracas to protest the increasingly embattled socialist government as part of what the opposition are calling a women's march against repression
2:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Paulassilverlining wins Derby undercard race
Kentucky Derby jockeys face muddy goggles, requiring multiple pairs.
1:59PM ( 4 hours ago )
Syria violence kills 4, wounds child despite safe zones
Violence has left at least four opposition fighters dead and a child wounded in central and southern Syria despite relative calm that prevailed wide parts of the war-ravaged country
1:53PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: French in Quebec turn out in droves to vote
French natives are turning out in droves in the Canadian province of Quebec to cast a ballot in France's presidential runoff
2:15PM ( 3 hours ago )
World's oldest standing army has 40 new Swiss Guards
The world's oldest standing army as 40 new members after a Vatican Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony
1:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Many French cheer end of vitriolic campaign
From depressed northern France to the streets of Paris, many French voters are looking forward to the end of a presidential campaign marred by hostility, hacking and low-brow political discourse.
1:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Experts: Convicting ex-officer in teen's death will be tough
Legal experts say authorities who've charged a white suburban Dallas police officer with murder in a black teenager's death face a tough task in getting a conviction
5:57PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Soggy Kentucky Derby day doesn't dampen party for some fans
Ponchos and rain boots are in fashion on a day usually devoted to sundresses and fancy suits at the Kentucky Derby
5:53PM ( 13 minutes ago )
French cybersecurity agency to probe Macron hacking attack
France's election campaign commission says "a significant amount of data" from the campaign of centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been leaked on social networks following a hacking attack
5:51PM ( 15 minutes ago )
US bobsledder Steven Holcomb, 37, found dead
US Olympic bobsledder Steven Holcomb, a three-time medalist, has been found dead
5:30PM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Jockey Jose Ortiz gets 2nd win on Derby day
Limousine Liberal survived a sudden downpour and a stretch scramble to win the $500,000 Churchill Downs Sprint on Saturday
5:26PM ( 39 minutes ago )