TIME Nigeria

Boko Haram Releases 21 of the Missing Chibok Girls in Nigeria

In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, left, welcomes some of the freed Chibok school girls at the state House in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Twenty-one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago were freed Thursday in a swap for detained leaders of the Islamic extremist group — the first release since nearly 300 girls were taken captive in a case that provoked international outrage. (Sunday Aghaeze/Nigeria State House via AP)
Sunday Aghaeze—Nigeria State House/AP Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, left, welcomes some of the freed Chibok school girls at the state House in Abuja on Oct. 13, 2016. T

Officials announced that 21 of the abducted girls are now in their custody

The militant group Boko Haram released 21 missing Chibok schoolgirls on Thursday, Nigerian officials confirmed.

A spokesperson for the president, Mallam Garba Shehu, announced the news in a series of tweets. The girls are a part of the group of 276 girls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014, when the militants took them from their beds in the middle of the night.

Shehu said the release was a result of negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. This release is the largest group let go so far, CNN reports, though a few dozen girls had escaped from their captors.

Many of the girls are still missing. Their kidnapping sparked outrage and garnered worldwide attention, including through the Bring Back Our Girls movement.

[CNN]

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