Nigerian women and girls ‘escape Boko Haram’

Sixty-three people fled in early hours of Saturday and are reunited with families

Campaigners attend a speak-out session for the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in the rain near Nigeria’s Lagos Marina on Saturday. Photograph:
Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Campaigners attend a speak-out session for the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in the rain near Nigeria’s Lagos Marina on Saturday. Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

 

Sixty-three women and girls who were abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria last month escaped their captors and have been reunited with their families, a local vigilante group member said.

The women and girls fled in the early hours of July 5th after their captors left them to carry out an attack on Damboa in the northeastern state of Borno, Hassan Mohammed said in a phone interview.

They were among 91 people kidnapped in attacks on the villages of Kumanza, Yaga and Dagu in June.

“We are yet to have the details of their escape, but it is believed that they took the bold step of taking to their heels when the insurgents left the camp in large numbers to attack Damboa on Friday night,” Mr Mohammed said.

Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain a five- year rebellion by Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in its campaign to impose Shariah law on Africa’s biggest oil producer.

The group is most active in three northeastern states, including Borno, where the government has enforced emergency rule since May 2013. It has also carried out bomb attacks in the capital, Abuja, and kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in the northeast in April, most of whom are still missing.

Bloomberg