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Nigeria: Boko Haram releases 21 out of 200 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls

One of the 21 freed Chibok girls cries while holding her baby as Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo looks on at his office in Abuja. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Abuja, Nigeria Oct 13, 2016, 11.53 PM (IST)

Jihadist group Boko Haram on Thursday freed 21 of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls it had kidnapped two years ago. 

Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo met with the freed girls in Abuja.

"It's a very exciting news for the whole country," he said, AFP reported.

"About an hour ago I met with the 21 who have been brought back. They are reasonably in good health considering the circumstances in which they have been held," Osinbajo told reporters after the meeting.

His office also released the names of the girls which showed that one of them was carrying a baby, media reports said. 

Local sources told AFP that their release was a part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government. However, the information  minister Lai Mohammed denied such reports, saying he was not aware if any ransom had been paid.

The kidnapping had  prompted a worldwide outrage and the girls’ plight was publicised on social media using a Twitter hashtag, #bringbackourgirls.

"In the next few days or months we will be able to negotiate the release of more of the girls," Osinbajo told reporters.

Officials have accused Boko Haram of having married off the girls to its followers. Reuters reported.

 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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