Chibok girls
Chibok girls

Terrorists stormed the Government Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state in April last year, seizing 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams.

Chibok girls
Chibok girls
Fifty-seven escaped but nothing had been heard of the 219 others since May last year, when about 100 of them appeared in a video, dressed in Muslim attire and reciting the Koran.

But now, one of the girls is said to have escaped from the Lake Chad region in the north-east of the country and run into herdsmen, who helped her get to safety.

The girl was taken to Baga military base where she revealed the horrors faced by the captives, a source told the Saturday Vanguard.

She said there were about 60 other girls at the camp, but others who had been kidnapped were moved elsewhere, it has been reported.

The girl said they were forced to convert to Islam and anyone who refused was either beheaded or shot at point blank range. They were made to marry, and were impregnated and infected, she said.
She revealed that some of the other girls are being held captive in towns near Lake Chad in both Chad and Nigeria, the Saturday Vanguard reported.

The Nigerian military has denied the report of the escape.
However, the story appears to back up Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau’s claims that all the girls had converted to Islam and been ‘married off’.

The mass abduction brought the brutality of the Islamist insurgency unprecedented worldwide attention and prompted a viral social media campaign demanding their release backed by personalities from US First Lady Michelle Obama to the actress Angelina Jolie.

Nigeria’s homegrown extremist group has killed around 17,000 people, and at least 2.5million people have been driven from their homes, some across borders.

Earlier this year, troops from Chad and Nigeria drove the extremists out of some 25 towns held for months by Boko Haram which had declared an Islamic caliphate aligned with the Islamic State group.

It currently controls a swathe of land in Nigeria’s north east and is at war with soldiers from a coalition of countries after spreading attacks into neighbouring Cameroon and Chad.

It has used dozens of girls and women in recent suicide bombings in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, raising fears they are kidnap victims.

Nigeria’s military claims the Islamist militants are a spent force and that troops have driven them from their camps and occupied territory in the remote region.

But guerrilla-style attacks have continued, including across the border.
At the weekend, 41 people were killed in triple explosions in Baga Sola, on the Chadian side of Lake Chad, where Nigeria meets Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The four countries have launched a joint offensive against the Islamists.
Their mission received a boost on Wednesday when US President Barack Obama said he was deploying up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

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