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Nigerian girl speaks out about Boko Haram escape

Deborah, one of 50 to escape following Boko Haram's kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls, said she plans to become a medical doctor.

By
Ben Hooper

CHIBOCK, Nigeria, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A Nigerian girl is speaking out about her escape from Boko Haram's mass kidnapping while another teen told of how she was forced into the group by her father.

Deborah, a girl from the northern city of Chibok, was one of 50 girls who managed to escape when the Boko Haram militant Islamist group kidnapped 276 schoolgirls April 14.

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The teenager told the BBC she spent a day in the Sambisa forest before running away and eventually finding her way back to her family.

"We are really afraid of Boko Haram," the girl said. "They told us 'your schooling is finished. No girls can go to school.' If they catch any girls in Nigeria going to school, they will kill her and her parents."

Deborah, who is among a group of escapees being sent to the United States to finish school by the Education after Escape organization, said she wants to become a medical doctor and return to Nigeria.

Authorities said 219 of the kidnapped girls are still missing.

"Our sisters are still in the bush, we don't know if they are alive or dead. We don't know where they are now. It's been nine months and we haven't heard a thing. We need help to bring them back," Deborah said.

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Meanwhile, a 13-year-old girl arrested after a suicide bomb attack in the city of Kano said she was forced into Boko Haram by her father.

Police Superintendent Adenrele Shinaba said the girl's leg was injured when two other young women detonated suicide bombs Dec. 10 at the city's textile market and she took a taxi to the hospital. The girl was arrested after leaving her own suicide vest behind in the cab.

The girl told a Wednesday night news conference she was forced into Boko Haram by her father, who she said also belongs to the group.

The girl said a man at the Boko Haram camp asked if she wanted to enter paradise.

"But I was told that I would have to die before entering into paradise. The man further stated that I will have to carry bomb and die, but I said I cannot do it, he then declared that it is either I accept to do the work or they dug the ground and bury me alive," the girl said. "Afraid to be buried alive, because I saw many that were being buried alive, I resolved to abide by the order out of duress."

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Police said the girl remains in custody and they are searching for her father.

The Dec. 10 suicide attacks killed four people.

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