By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– One of more than 200 Christian schoolgirls and women abducted by Islamist Boko Haram militants in the northeastern Nigerian village of Chibok has been freed, police and a parent have confirmed.
Police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu said “a girl, 20 years of age, among the abducted Chibok girls was dropped off by suspected Boko Haram militants at Mubi,” a town in northeast Adamawa state.
“The information we have is that she is one of the abducted girls,” he said.
“She was found running in a village. She was in the bush for about four days. She’s still receiving medical attention,” added a parent, who has two girls still with the insurgents and who declined to be named.
Earlier more than 50 girls escaped by themselves at the scene or soon after and now 219 remain missing, according to well-informed sources.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, has been criticized at home and abroad for his perceived slow response to the kidnapping and for his government’s inability to quell the violence by the Islamist militants.
Boko Haram, which means ‘Western education is sinful’, has been waging a bloody campaign for an independent Islamic state.
The violence, seen as the biggest security threat to Africa’s top economy, has involved the kidnapping of hundreds of girls, women and boys.
However the abduction of more than 270 schoolgirls and young women from the Chibok school in April inspired a worldwide campaign for their freedom.
At least several of them were forced to embrace Islam.
Boko Haram had earlier warned Christians to leave the country’s northern areas where it wants to establish a state based on strict Islamic laws.
A military operation in the northeast has so far failed to quell the rebellion and has triggered reprisal attacks that are increasingly targeting civilians, including Christians, after they formed vigilante groups to try to help the government flush out the militants.
Boko Haram militants on motorcycles killed at least 18 people in an attack on the northeast Nigerian town of Shaffa late on Wednesday, September 24.
Boko Haram has seized several towns in the last two months, although the military said on Wednesday it had pushed them back and that 135 fighters had surrendered this week.
In a statement, the military also claimed Nigerian troops had killed a man posing as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in several videos, including one in which he threatened to sell the girls into slavery.