The girls could hear gunfire outside the school, so at first, when men claiming to be soldiers came in and promised to rescue them, they were relieved. That didn't last long. The men burned down a school storeroom before herding the girls outside. "They started shouting 'Allahu Akhbar.' And we knew," a 16-year-old tells the AP, that the men were militants from Boko Haram. But the extremists had already overwhelmed the outnumbered and outgunned soldiers protecting the school, so the girls didn't resist as they were pushed into the backs of pickup trucks.
The trucks had passed through three villages when the car of fighters following them broke down. The girl and some others jumped out of the truck and bolted into the forest. Behind them, they heard the car restart and its lights come on. "We ran and ran, so fast. That is how I saved myself. I had no time to be scared," she says. Others hid in trees until the vehicles passed. But hundreds of other girls didn't run, and 276 are still missing and presumed captive. For more on the kidnapping, how town residents tracked down the kidnappers, and their frustration with the government's ineffectual response, see the full story.