Saturday 21 July, 2018

The Latest: Nigeria: No 'confrontation' part of release deal

The Latest on the mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Nigeria's government says a decision against military "confrontation" was part of the agreement for the release of more than 100 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed says the "deliberate pause" allowed the extremists to drive into the town where the girls were abducted a month ago and release them.

Witnesses say the Boko Haram fighters also warned residents: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."

Nigeria says 101 of the 110 girls are confirmed freed, and it indicates that the number will rise "after the remaining ones have been documented."

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1:25 p.m.

Nigeria's government now says 101 of the 110 schoolgirls abducted a month ago by Boko Haram are confirmed freed, and it indicates that the release is not over.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari says on Twitter that the number "would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented."

Nigeria's government has said "no ransoms were paid" in the release.

Witnesses in Dapchi town say Boko Haram extremists released the girls in the middle of town before dawn Wednesday with a warning: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."

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12:20 p.m.

Nigeria's government now says 91 of the 110 schoolgirls abducted a month ago by Boko Haram are confirmed freed.

The information minister tells reporters that a boy also has been released.

Nigeria's government has said "no ransoms were paid" in the release.

Witnesses in Dapchi town say Boko Haram extremists released the girls in the middle of town before dawn Wednesday with a warning: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."

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11:30 a.m.

Nigeria's government says "no ransoms were paid" in the release of dozens of schoolgirls kidnapped a month ago by Boko Haram extremists.

Nigeria says 76 of the 110 schoolgirls are confirmed freed but that the release is "ongoing."

The country's information minister says the girls were released "through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional."

Witnesses in Dapchi town say the extremists drove into town before dawn and dropped off the girls with a warning: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."

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11:05 a.m.

Nigeria's government says 76 of the 110 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram extremists a month ago have been freed.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari cites the country's information minister as saying the release of the 76 has been confirmed.

The fate of the remaining 34 schoolgirls is not clear.

Witnesses in Dapchi town say Boko Haram extremists released the girls in the middle of town before dawn with a warning: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."

Boko Haram translates as "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language.

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10:10 a.m.

Boko Haram militants have issued an ominous warning to the parents of the Nigerian schoolgirls after releasing the girls in the town where they were abducted a month ago.

A witness in the town of Dapchi tells The Associated Press that the fighters told residents they had returned the girls "out of pity."

"And don't ever put your daughters in school again," they warned.

Boko Haram translates as "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language.

It is not immediately clear how many of the 110 girls have been freed.

In 2014, the group abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, and about 100 of them have never returned to their families.

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9:35 a.m.

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Umar Hassan, a resident in Dapchi town, tells The Associated Press that many fled upon hearing that Boko Haram insurgents were headed into the town again.

He says that while in hiding, residents saw the missing girls getting out of the Boko Haram vehicles.

A second resident, Kachallah Musa, says the militants later left without any confrontation.

It is not immediately clear how many of the girls have been freed.

Their release comes a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed warnings of the attack. The military has called the report an "outright falsehood."

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8:30 a.m.

Nigeria's military is dismissing as "outright falsehood" an Amnesty International report that claims security forces were warned several times ahead of a mass abduction of 110 schoolgirls last month.

The attack by suspected Boko Haram extremists caused fresh outrage in Africa's most populous country and reminded many of Boko Haram's abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014.

Amnesty International on Tuesday cited sources including security officials and witnesses who said military and police received at least five calls in the hours before the attack. The rights group said no lessons had been learned from Chibok and urged Nigeria's government to make public its investigation into the new attack in Dapchi town.

Nigeria's acting director of defense information John Agim says no security force was informed of the mass abduction.