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82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram

By Eric DuVall
82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram
Oludolapo Osinbajo, center, wife of the Nigerian vice president, consoles one of the 21 released Chibok girls who were released last October. The Nigerian government said Saturday it successfully negotited the release of another 82 of the missing girls from their Boko Haram captors. File photo by STR/EPA

May 6 (UPI) -- The Nigerian government said 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram three years ago were released Saturday, though more than 100 are still missing.

Unidentified government officials told multiple news agencies the release came after years of ongoing negotiations between Nigeria's government and leaders of the radical Islamist group. Boko Haram has established a caliphate in northeastern Nigeria and has led an eight-year insurgency against the government.

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Boko Haram's stunning raid of a girls' school in the town of Chibok in northern Nigeria in 2014 drew international outcry. It's believed 276 of them were taken captive. The group released 21 of the girls in October after negotiations with the Red Cross. Another 50 or so have escaped on their own since being abducted.

Officials said the girls were driven by caravan to a meeting between their captors and the Nigerian army, which took the girls to an undisclosed location where they are working to reunite them with their families.

Many of the girls who were kidnapped were Christian, but the BBC reported they were encouraged to convert to Islam and marry their kidnappers while they were being held.

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