Over 60 Women, Girls Escape Islamist Abductors In Borno

More than 60 women and girls abducted last month by
suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria have
escaped their captors, sources said Sunday.

Local vigilante Abbas Gava said he had “received an alert
from my colleagues … that about 63 of the abducted women
and girls had made it back home” late Friday.

A high-level security source in the Borno state capital
Maiduguri, who requested anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak on the matter, confirmed the escape.

Gava, a senior official of the local vigilantes in Borno State
who are working closely with security officials, told
journalists the women escaped when their captors went out to

“They took the bold step when their abductors moved out to
carry out an operation,” he said.

Clashes took place between the Islamists and the army late
Friday after an attack by the insurgents in the town of
Damboa, where more than 50 of them were killed, the army
had said.

Spokesmen for the armed forces or the government could not
be reached Sunday for comment.

Activists of the Bring Back Our Girls movement meanwhile
tried to march on the presidential palace in Abuja Sunday in
another reminder of the fate of more than 200 girls kidnapped
in Chibok, Borno state, on April 14, but were asked by
security forces to turn back.

“It’s 83 days today that the girls have been abducted,”
activist Aisha Yesufu told the press.

“We have been coming out for 68 days and nobody has really
listened to us,” Yesufu told reporters after the march.

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That is why the group “decided that we should just take the
protest back to the President so that he will know that we are
still out there after the 68 days that we have been coming out

Security experts say the overstretched and under-resourced
military is incapable of fighting an effective
counterinsurgency against the Boko Haram militants, who
have killed thousands in their five-year campaign for an
independent Islamic state in the north.