2 Years Later, Boko Haram Frees 21 Chibok Girls

It's the largest group of the missing released to date
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2016 6:31 AM CDT
In this undated image file image taken from a video distributed Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, shows an alleged Boko Haram soldier standing in front of a group of girls alleged to be some of the 276 abducted...   (Militant video/Site Institute, File via AP)
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(Newser) – Nigerian officials say 21 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists more than two years ago have been freed. Presidential spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu tweeted Thursday that the girls are in the custody of Nigeria's Department of State Services, reports the AP. He said the release is a result of negotiations between the government and Boko Haram, brokered by the Swiss government and the International Red Cross. He said negotiations will continue; CNN notes that this is the largest group of the girls released to date.

The abduction of 276 schoolgirls in April 2014 brought international condemnation of Boko Haram, Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist group. Dozens of the girls escaped, but most remain missing. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said the girls would only be released if the government swaps them for detained extremist leaders. (Read more Boko Haram stories.)

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