Boko Haram returns 104 of 110 kidnapped schoolgirls, Nigeria says

(USA TODAY) — Boko Haram extremists returned most of the 110 girls they kidnapped a month ago from their school in northeastern Nigeria, the Nigerian government said Wednesday.

Fighters from the militant group drove into the northern town of Dapchi in nine vans and dropped the girls off early Wednesday, just after Nigerian soldiers withdrew, said Alhaji Baba Shehu, a resident, and other witnesses.

“(Some) girls ran away to their home before being counted,” he said. “Still, we are happy. God has answered our prayers and our daughters are back.”

Nigeria’s government said 104 of the 110 schoolgirls were confirmed as freed.

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said no ransom was paid. He said the release was obtained through “back-channel efforts,” after “a pause in operations” and with the help of “some friends of the country.”

He said negotiations for the release of the remaining girls continue.

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