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'Around 63' women and girls flee Boko Haram

Around 63 of the women and girls kidnapped by Islamist militants Boko Haram more than two months ago have managed to escape their captors and return home, according to a high-level security source cited by AFP.

Boko Haram showed images of more than 200 schoolgirls they captured in April.
Boko Haram showed images of more than 200 schoolgirls they captured in April. Credit: ITV News

Abbas Gava, a senior official of the local vigilantes in Borno State, said he had “received an alert from my colleagues ... that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home.”

The women are said to have fled when the militants holding them left to fight.

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

Read: Nigeria at a crossroads: The Boko Haram challenge


Nigeria 'inching towards' rescue of kidnapped girls

A Nigerian teenager campaigning for the girls to be freed Credit: Reuters

Nigeria says it is "inching towards" the rescue of more than 200 school girls who were kidnapped by Islamist militants Boko Haram more than two months ago.

The government said that it had held a key commander who had been supplying information to the extremists, who have threatened to sell the girls into forced marriages or slavery.

Campaigners for the 'Bring Back Our Girls' group, which holds a daily rally in the Nigerian capital Abuja, said they would continue to campaign to free the girls until they are released unharmed.

Brown urges 'practical measures' to return schoolgirls

Gordon Brown called on the international community to turn their offer of help to return over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 10 weeks ago into "practical measures".

The former PM said Nigerian authorities needed support with night-vision equipment, air cover and suggested some of the girls could be in neighbouring Niger, Cameroon or Chad.

Read: Nigeria at a crossroads: The Boko Haram challenge

Security source: Second Nigerian village attacked

Another village in the Chibok region of Nigeria was attacked at the same time suspected Islamist militants were gunning down 10 people, a security source said.

The death toll in Kwada, around five miles from the Chibok village where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped, was unclear.

Read: Islamiists 'kill at least 10 people' during village attack

Witness recounts horror of the shooting

Suspected Islamist militants rolled into the Kautikiri village in Northern Nigeria and started shooting at people, a survivor said.

A #BringBackOurGirls protest in Abuja last week. Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Samuel Chibok said that around 20 men arrived in a Toyota pick-up truck and motorcycles and opened fire.

He said: "Initially I thought they were military but when I came out, they were firing at people. I saw people fleeing and they burned our houses." He added that two of his relatives were among the dead.

"Smoke was billowing from our town as I left," he said.


Islamists 'kill at least 10 people' during village attack

Suspected Islamists have killed at least 10 people in an attack on a village less than three miles from Chibok - the scene of a mass abduction of over 200 school girls in April, survivors told Reuters.

Insurgents also killed seven soldiers in the village of Goniri, Yobe state, on Friday, a security source told the news agency.

Nigerian man 'put in mental institute for being atheist'

Mubarak Bala has been detained and medicated, his lawyer says.
Mubarak Bala has been detained and medicated, his lawyer says. Credit: International Humanist and Ethical Union

A Nigerian man has been detained and medicated in a mental institution on the grounds of being an atheist, a campaign group has claimed.

Mubarak Bala, 29, has been held against his will at the hospital in Kano - a deeply Islamic part of the country - for almost two weeks, the International Humanist and Ethical Union says.

According to the group, Mr Bala's Muslim family alleged that he was showing signs of delusion after he decided he no longer believed in God.

Bamidele Adeneye, a lawyer who has taken up the case, says: “Kano is a Sharia state and there are many similar cases occurring, where people are forcefully oppressed just because of their beliefs or for conservative religious reasons, or for the “honour” of their family."

A petition for Mr Bala's release has now reached almost 3,000 signatures at the time of writing.

'Every step' taken to monitor insurgents in Nigeria

A government spokesman has said Abuja residents should remain calm tonight, saying that security agencies are now "handling the situation."

The latest explosion in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killed 21 and injured 17 people in a shopping complex.

Spokesman Mike Omeri told AP: "Every step is being taken by the government to check the activities of insurgents in the country."

Bodies of victims of a bomb blast are carried away from the scene in Abuja. Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

More: At least 21 dead in Nigeria explosion

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