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Boko Haram releases 21 Chibok girls to Nigerian government

Thursday 13 October 2016, by siawi3


By Stephanie Busari, Faith Karimi and David McKenzie,

Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT) October 13, 2016

Boko Haram releases 21 missing Chibok girls 01:40

Story highlights
No Boko Haram fighters released in exchange for freed girls, source says
The militants kidnapped 276 girls in 2014

(CNN)Boko Haram militants handed over 21 missing Chibok schoolgirls to Nigerian authorities Thursday morning as part of a deal brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government, Nigeria’s government said.
The girls are being taken to the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where they will meet with the governor of Borno state, officials in the state said. The girls were not immediately named.

Some of the 21 released Chibok girls are shown Thursday in Banki, Nigeria, near the Cameroon border, in a photo obtained exclusively by CNN.

The 21 are said to be among the 276 girls that Boko Haram militants herded from bed in the middle of the night at a school in northern Nigeria in April 2014 — a kidnapping that spurred global outrage.

September: Chibok girls’ parents react to new Boko Haram video
As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately, but scores remain missing. Thursday’s release is the largest group believed freed since the girls were kidnapped two years ago.

Escaped Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki: I miss my Boko Haram husband

Terms of Thursday’s deal were not immediately announced, but no jailed Boko Haram fighters were released in exchange for the girls, a source with direct knowledge of the release said on condition of anonymity.

August: Video of Chibok girls released; parents react
Mallam Garba Shehu, spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Twitter that the 21 released girls are now in the custody of the Department of State Services, the Nigerian domestic intelligence agency.
The agency chief has briefed the government, Shehu tweeted, and has said the girls need to rest "with all of them very tired coming out of the process before he hands them over to the Vice President."

May: Chibok girl found after two years as Boko Haram captive
"The release of the girls ... is the outcome of negotiations between the (Nigerian) administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government. The negotiations will continue," Shehu tweeted.

This photo, obtained exclusively by CNN, shows some of the 21 girls who were released to the Nigerian military Thursday morning in Nigeria.

The 2014 kidnapping prompted global figures such as Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and first lady Michelle Obama to support a #BringBackOurGirls campaign.