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Chibok girl kidnapped by Boko Haram found with baby

Soldiers interrogating captured Boko Haram suspects have found one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped nearly three years ago, along with her baby, Nigeria's military said.

Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped by the insurgents from a government boarding school in the remote north-eastern town of Chibok in April 2014, a mass abduction that shocked the world and brought Boko Haram to international attention.

Most of the girls remain in captivity.

In May one girl escaped and in October the government negotiated the release of 21 more.

Another girl was freed in November in an army raid on an extremist camp in the Sambisa Forest.

Army spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman identified the latest girl to be freed as Rakiya Abubakar and said she has a six-month-old baby.

He said her identity was discovered when soldiers were interrogating some of more than 1,000 suspects detained in recent weeks of army raids on the Sambisa Forest.

Nigeria's government announced that troops two weeks ago destroyed that last stronghold of Boko Haram, and President Muhammadu Buhari declared the extremist group was finally "crushed".

That raised questions about the whereabouts of the other Chibok girls, believed to be held in the forest.

Some 196 remained missing before Thursday's discovery, though some of the freed girls have said that several in their group have died from things such as malaria and snakebite.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau issued a video last week contradicting the government, declaring that the war was just starting and urging his fighters to keep killing, bombing and abducting people.

Nigeria's government has been criticised over its treatment of the freed girls, who have been sequestered in Abuja, the capital, allegedly for trauma counselling and rehabilitation.

The freed girls insisted on being taken to Chibok for Christmas, but they were kept in the home of a local legislator, prevented from attending Christmas service and did not see their parents until the next day.

Boko Haram's seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people, spread across Nigeria's borders, forced 2.6 million from their homes and created a massive humanitarian crisis in which the UN says 5.1 million people face starvation in north-east Nigeria.

AP

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said the girl's recovery "raises renewed hope that the other captured girls will one day be reunited with their families, friends and community".

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