World

2nd kidnapped 'Chibok girl' rescued in Nigeria, army spokesman says

A second girl who was among more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in a raid on their school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok more than two years ago has been rescued, a spokesman for the Nigerian army says.

Nigerian army moving into forest stronghold to get Chibok girls, governor says

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, second right, receives Amina Ali, the first rescued Chibok school girl, at the presidential palace in Abuja. The army reported Thursday that another girl has been found. (Azeez Akunleyan/Associated Press)

A second girl who was among more  than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in a raid on their school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok more than two years ago has been rescued, a spokesman for the Nigerian army said on Thursday.

An emailed statement carried by PR Nigeria, an official government agency which releases information, said army 
spokesman Sani Usman had "confirmed the rescue of another Chibok Girl this evening," adding that more details would be provided later.

Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki, the first girl to be rescued, was found by soldiers working with a vigilante group on Tuesday near Damboa, south of Maiduguri in the remote northeast where Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency to set up an Islamic state. 

Officials confirmed Amina was one of 219 girls abducted from the government school in Chibok in April 2014.

Earlier on Thursday the governor of Borno state, where Chibok is located, said the army was drawing up plans and 
moving into a Boko Haram forest stronghold in a bid to rescue the remaining girls.

The governor's comments came shortly after Amina, the first girl to be rescued, met NIgerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

"We believe that in the coming weeks we shall recover the rest of the girls," Governor Kashim Shettima told reporters. 
"The military is already moving into the forest."

Amina Ali, the first rescued Chibok schoolgirl, was flown to Abuja on Thursday and met with Nigeria's president, even as her freedom adds pressure on the government to do more to rescue more than 200 other missing girls. (Azeez Akunleyan/Associated Press)


Previous military attempts to storm Sambisa have met with mixed success, with soldiers making significant in-roads but failing to finish off the Islamist militants after running into bands of well-armed guerrillas, mines and booby traps.

The #Bringbackourgirls activist group said Amina had told her rescuers the rest of the girls were under heavy Boko Haram guard in Sambisa.

Soldiers working with a vigilante group found the first girl on Tuesday near Damboa, south of Maiduguri in the remote northeast where Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency to set up an Islamic state.
This May 12, 2014, file image taken from video posted by Boko Haram purports to show the missing girls. (Militant video via Associated Press)


Officials confirmed she was one of 219 girls abducted from the government school in Chibok in April 2014.

Buhari said Nigeria will do what it can to rescue the remainder of the more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.

"Amina's rescue gives us new hope and offers a unique opportunity to vital information," Buhari said during a meeting 
with the teenager, her mother and officials after a presidential jet had flown her to Abuja.

 He said the government would make it a priority that Amina, who showed Buhari her four-month old baby, can go back to school.

"Nobody in Nigeria should be put through the brutality of forced marriage, every girl has a right to education and their 
choice of life," he said. "Amina must be able to go back to school."

After Amina was discovered, the army said it had detained a suspected Boko Haram militant called Mohammed Hayatu, who said he was her husband.

On Thursday, the military released pictures of a clean-shaven man in a white shirt and cream trousers sitting 
beside Amina on a hospital bed holding the infant in his lap.

15,000 dead

Buhari, 73, Nigeria's former military ruler, cradled Amina's baby in his arms during the meeting in the lavish presidential 
villa before posing for a group photograph.

Amina, who was accompanied by her mother, Binta, and Nigeria's defence minister and national security adviser, spent 
more than an hour with Buhari, who made crushing Boko Haram a pillar of his 2015 presidential election campaign.

More than 15,000 people have been killed and two million displaced in Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon during its insurgency.

Under Buhari's command, and aided by Nigeria's neighbours, the army has recaptured most territory once lost to Boko Haram.

Suicide bombings common

But the jihadist group, which last year pledged loyalty to Islamic State, still regularly stages suicide bombings.

Amina's mother said she feared she would never see her daughter again after the abduction, which had left her "broken 
and devastated".

Boko Haram captured 276 girls in a night-time raid on Chibok in April 2014, its most high-profile assault.

Some girls escaped in the melee but parents of the remaining 219 accused then-President Goodluck Jonathan of not doing enough to find their daughters, whose disappearance led to a wave of global outrage. 

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