Over half of the Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Book Haram last month have been freed, reports the Nigerian government.
According to him, the development came following the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that all security agencies should do everything possible to secure the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls.
Militants arrived in nine vehicles - reportedly the same vehicles they used in the abduction - and left the girls in the centre of Dapchi early on Wednesday, before immediately leaving.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the release was "unconditional" and the result of "back-channel efforts" with the help of "some friends of the country", without elaborating.
He added: "As of now, the number (of girls confirmed to have been released) has increased to 101".
Only 107 of the Chibok girls have been rescued or returned amid ongoing government negotiation with Boko Haram.
Villagers say Boko Haram jihadists said they returned the girls "out of pity". "So in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and majority went to their parents homes". Some girls were forced to marry their captors, and many had children fathered by the militants. They dropped the girls at the center of town, near Ali's tea shop.
"The release of the Dapchi girls has certainly gladdened the hearts of the affected parents, relations, the Yobe State Government and other Nigerians".
Aliyu Maina, reunited with his 13-year-old daughter, said the fighters "stopped and blocked the road, they didn't talk to anybody, they didn't greet anybody".
UNICEF also extended its condolence the families whose daughters could not come home, especially the families of the five school girls reported to have died.
"No money changed hands".
Members of the #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG) have sworn to interrogate the circumstances of the Dapchi school girls release. "They stopped to take pictures with our youth". Those that died were not killed by Boko Haram, they died because they were trampled upon.
The release came a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed several warnings of an imminent attack on February 19 during which the girls were seized. "Any report that we paid ransom or engaged in prisoner swap is false", he said.
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