ABUJA (Reuters) - The Nigerian military said on Thursday it had rescued one of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the town of Chibok in 2014, one of the world’s most notorious kidnappings in recent years.
The abduction of more than 270 students sparked international condemnation and heavy criticism of the Nigerian authorities at home along with a celebrity-backed “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign.
Salomi Pogu was found by troops deployed in the town of Pulka with another girl and a young child. “(They) are in the safe custody of troops and receiving medical attention,” the military said in a statement. The second girl was not one of the abducted Chibok students.
Of the 276 girls who were originally taken, about 60 escaped soon afterwards. Around 100 are still believed to be in captivity.
Last May, Boko Haram exchanged 82 of the girls after mediation, involving a payment to the insurgents and the release of some of the group’s imprisoned senior members. Before that, 24 had been released or found in 2016.
The Chibok case attracted global attention, but aid groups say Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands more adults and children, many of whose cases are neglected.
(Corrects spelling of rescued girl’s name in third paragraph to “Salomi Pogu” after error in initial military statement)
Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Ralph Boulton