One of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted by the Islamist group Boko Haram nearly three years ago has been found alive, along with a six-month-old baby who was born during the mother’s captivity.
The girl was found on Thursday after the army arrested two suspected militants during an operation in a former Boko Haram stronghold in Borno State. Soldiers found her wandering in the area and she was carrying a six-month-old baby with her.
Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, said the girl would undergo a medical examination before being handed over to the Borno State Government. He did not say when she will be reunited with her family.
Some 276 schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram in April 2014 when militants attacked a secondary school in Chibok town in Nigeria’s northeast, but a few dozen were able to escape in the immediate aftermath, leaving about 200 children still missing, though some have disputed that figure.
Abubakar Shekau, the group’s leader, bragged and laughed about the mass kidnapping in a video released in late 2014, saying the schoolgirls had been married off after they converted to Islam. News of the kidnapping sparked international condemnation and protests.
Boko Haram, which joined the Islamic State group nearly two years ago, is seeking the imposition of an extremist stance of Shariah law, which is a Muslim code of conduct. The group’s name, in the local language of Hausa, roughly translates as ‘Western religion is sacrilegious’ or ‘non-Islamic religion is a sin.’
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