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Rescued Nigerian girl was not among students abducted in Chibok

Published 20/05/2016

A girl rescued by Nigeria's military in a battle with Islamic extremists was kidnapped from her home village and is not among 218 students missing after the 2014 mass abduction in Chibok by Boko Haram.

The girl is one of three daughters of a pastor of the Nigerian branch of the US-based Church of the Brethren, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in two separate attacks, community leader Pogu Bitrus said.

Army spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman said soldiers freed the girl after a night battle in the north-eastern Sambisa Forest in which it liberated 97 women and children and killed 35 extremists.

He claimed she was among the girls who were abducted more than two years ago from a boarding school in Chibok.

Mr Bitrus said the girl, believed to be about 15 when she was seized, was a student at the school but was home on holiday at the time of the mass kidnapping. She was later snatched from her village of Madagali, near the town of Chibok, he said.

The rescue came after a Chibok pupil was discovered with a four-month-old baby by hunters on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest on Tuesday. On Thursday, Amina Ali Nkeki, 19, was flown to Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.

Parents of the kidnapped girls, the Bring Back Our Girls movement and aid workers all have criticised the Nigerian government and military for their handling of the development, with Refugees International claiming her escape is being politicised and that she should not be paraded in public but getting urgent medical care for sexual abuse and psycho-social counselling.

Ms Nkeki has revealed that a few of the girls died in captivity but most remain under heavy guard in the forest, according to family doctor Idriss Danladi.

Her escape has renewed hopes of saving the other girls and strengthened demands of the Bring Back Our Girls movement that the government act in concert with the international community to swiftly free them.

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From Belfast Telegraph