Militants free scores of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, hold one

The minister however, later informed State House correspondents that the number of the released Dapchi schoolgirls has increased from 76 to 101, with the documentation of more of the freed girls by the security agencies.

A witness in the town of Dapchi, where a number of the girls had been returned to, told the Associated Press that Boko Haram claimed to return the girls "out of pity".

They ministers are Defence minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, his Interior counterpart, Abdulrahman Danbazau, Information minister, Lai Mohammed, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim.

In 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls, which caused global outrage and ignited the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

UNICEF has expressed delight over the return of the Kidnapped Dapchi school girls abducted on the 19th February by Boko Haram. "So in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and majority went to their parents homes". Numerous girls that were released were not dropped in one place.

Yana Galang was visiting Dapchi in northeast Nigeria to offer condolences to parents whose daughters were kidnapped by Boko Haram when people started to shout with excitement.

Hafsat Abdullahi, whose 16-year-old sister Fatima had been taken away by the militant group, said they were dropped back in Dapchi.

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"Anyone found wanting by the committee investigating the circumstances that led to the abduction of the girls will not be spared", he said.

Parents on Wednesday headed for the town, hoping their child had been freed.

Five girls are reported to have died, though this has not yet been addressed in statements from the authorities.

"It is not true that we paid ransom for the release of the Dapchi girls, neither was there a prisoner swap to secure their release. The only condition they gave us is not to release (the girls) to the military but release them in the town of Dapchi without the military presence".

The release came a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed several warnings of an imminent attack on February 19 during which the girls were seized.

The military rejected the allegation, calling it an "outright falsehood".

Freed girls and relatives said one schoolgirl was still in captivity, while five had died.

  • Adam Floyd