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The Latest: Red Cross Tweets Image of Freed Chibok Girls

The Latest: Red Cross Tweets Image of Freed Chibok Girls

Sunday, 07 May 2017 06:45 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Latest on the release of Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has tweeted what might be the first public image of the Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram extremists.

The ICRC tweet shows a line of girls wearing shirts with the Red Cross logo walking across a runway to a waiting helicopter.

"A happy sight for families missing moved ones," the aid group says. The ICRC acted as a mediator as Nigeria exchanged some detained Boko Haram suspects in return for the girls' release Saturday.

This is the largest release since Boko Haram seized 276 schoolgirls from Chibok three years ago.

11:25 a.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it acted as a neutral intermediary and transported the 82 freed Chibok schoolgirls into the hands of Nigeria's government.

The ICRC along with the Swiss government had mediated months of negotiations between Nigeria and the Boko Haram extremist group to obtain Saturday's release.

The release follows the freeing of a first group of 21 Chibok schoolgirls in October. Saturday's release is the largest since Boko Haram seized 276 Chibok girls in a mass abduction three years ago.

ICRC deputy regional coordinator Patrick Youssef says the 82 girls soon will meet with their families.

11 a.m.

Nigeria's presidential spokesman says President Muhammadu Buhari will meet the newly released Chibok schoolgirls at 4 p.m. local time Sunday.

Garba Shehu said that Buhari will receive the 82 schoolgirls in Abuja who were freed Saturday after lengthy negotiations with Boko Haram. The girls were released near the town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon and will be transported to the capital, Abuja.

Before Saturday's release, 195 of the girls had been captive. Now 113 of the girls remain unaccounted for.

AP writer Bashir Adigun in Abuja, Nigeria

9:35 a.m.

Nigeria's president says he will meet Sunday with 82 Chibok schoolgirls freed this weekend after being kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram.

President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that he will receive the released schoolgirls in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

The president said the schoolgirls were freed in exchange for detained suspected extremists in the largest negotiated release so far of the nearly 300 girls whose mass abduction in 2014 highlighted the threat of Nigeria's homegrown extremist fighters who are linked to the Islamic State group.

Before Saturday's release, 195 of the girls had been captive. Now 113 of the girls remain unaccounted for.

As news of the latest release broke, long-suffering family members said they are eagerly awaiting a list of names and their "hopes and expectations are high."

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The Latest on the release of Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria (all times local):11:35 a.m.The International Committee of the Red Cross has tweeted what might be the first public image of the Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko...
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Sunday, 07 May 2017 06:45 AM
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