Chibok girls released by Boko Haram arrive in Abuja: Reuters witness

Reuters News
Posted: May 07, 2017 6:38 AM

ABUJA (Reuters) - A group of girls released by Boko Haram jihadists after kidnapping them in 2014 in the north Nigerian town of Chibok arrived on Sunday in the capital Abuja, a Reuters witness said.

The girls arrived at Abuja airport and were driven away in a military convoy.

Nigeria said on Saturday it had secured the release of 82 girls in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners.

Around 270 girls were kidnapped in April 2014 by the Islamist militant group, which has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.

Dozens escaped in the initial melee, but more than 200 remained missing for more than two years.

Nigeria thanked Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for helping secure the release of the 82 girls after "lengthy negotiations", the presidency said in a statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari will receive the girls on Sunday afternoon in Abuja, it said, without saying how many Boko Haram suspects had been exchanged or disclosing other details.

(Reporting by Afolabi Sotunde, writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by Jason Neely and Ros Russell)