World

First Of 219 Girls Kidnapped By Boko Haram Found

| by Nicholas Roberts
Girls kidnapped by Boko HaramGirls kidnapped by Boko Haram

One of 219 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in the town of Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014 is free from captivity, according to a witness and Nigerian military officials.

Differing accounts were given of the girl's liberation.  Army officials say she was rescued by troops, while a witness interviewed by CNN said that the girl had wandered out of the Sambisa Forest in the northeast part of the country with her child and husband May 17.

The eyewitness, Aboku Gaji, told CNN he was part of a vigilante group set up to fight against Boko Haram, and said he recognized the girl wandering out of the forest as Amina Ali Nkeki, one of the girls taken by the group in 2014. She was able to see her mother for a short time, as well, reports the BBC.

The acting director of Army Public Relations along with the country's Information Minister gave a differing account of the rescue, saying that the girl's name is actually Falmata Mbalala and that she was rescued by government troops.

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Boko Haram attacked the school dormitories housing the girls in 2014, arriving late at night and loading more than 200 girls onto trucks.

The group reportedly maintains a stronghold in the middle of the densely-vegetated Sambisa Forest.

Nigerian soldiers have been able to infiltrate the forest and drive back some of the militants from their territory, but the group still holds land rights in the heart of the forest.

Nkeki Mutah, the vice chairman of the Chibok association of Abuja, said that imminent action was needed in order to recover the girls.

"It is now left for the government to act as quickly as possible and we are calling on international leaders to act."

Sources: CNN, BBC / Photo credit: NAIJ.com

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