63 Girls Escape Boko Haram

Nigerian military says it killed 53 rebels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2014 2:33 AM CDT
63 Girls Escape Boko Haram
Boko Haram leader leader Abubakar Shekau speaks in a video released by the militant group.   (AP Photo)

Scores of girls and young women have managed to escape from Boko Haram militants, Nigerian authorities say—though more than 200 schoolgirls seized in April are still missing. The 63 who managed to escape were among 68 people kidnapped last month when the Islamist radicals invaded a village, slaughtering the men and burning it to the ground, CNN reports. Officials say the women escaped when militants left to attack a military base, reports the BBC. "They took the bold step when their abductors moved out to carry out an operation," says a member of a vigilante group.

The raid on the military base was repelled and the Nigerian military says it killed 53 Boko Haram fighters, with the loss of five soldiers and a senior military officer. A security source tells Reuters that the militants attacked the base with rocket-propelled grenades as retaliation for recent ground and air raids that have killed dozens of Boko Haram members. With no sign of the missing schoolgirls for months, international attention has waned, but analysts warn that the Boko Haram threat remains, and the militant group is now sharing information and tactics with other extremist groups, including Somalia's al-Shabab, NBC finds. Last week, Nigerian officials said they had arrested a businessman linked to the schoolgirl mass kidnapping. (More Nigeria stories.)

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