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21 schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram after two years

  • Published at 11:07 am October 13th, 2016
  • Last updated at 11:18 am October 13th, 2016
21 schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram after two years

Twenty-one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been freed, a senior Nigerian government official has told the BBC.

The official wanted to remain anonymous and the government has not issued a statement.

Previous reports of the girls' release have turned out to be wrong.

It also sparked one of the biggest global social media campaigns, with tweeters using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Nigeria says the government official did not say how the kidnapped students had been rescued.

But the military is currently carrying out a large-scale operation in the Sambisa forest, which is a Boko Haram stronghold.

There has only been one confirmed release of a student kidnapped from Chibok more than two years ago.

Nigeria was previously conducting negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the schoolgirls.

Read More: Nigeria in talks with Boko Haram to free Chibok girls

In May, a 19-year-old woman was found carrying by an army-backed vigilante group.

After that it was believed that 218 students were still missing – more than 50 managed to escape on the day they were captured.

Boko Haram has also kidnapped thousands of other people during its seven-year insurgency in north-east Nigeria.

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