Chibok girls: Nigerian army claims second rescue – BBC News

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The second Chibok girl, who the army said was rescued on ThursdayImage copyright

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The second Chibok schoolgirl was rescued on Thursday, the army said

A second schoolgirl from the more than 200 seized in the Nigerian town of Chibok has been found, the army says.

But a spokesman for the Chibok girls’ parents has cast doubt on the claims, saying that the girl’s name is not on the families’ list of those missing.

An army spokesman said Serah Luka was among a group of 97 women and children rescued by troops in the north-east.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has abducted thousands of other girls in recent years, rights groups estimate.

This comes two days after the rescue of the first Chibok girl, Amina Ali Nkeki.

The army has previously given misleading statements about the rescue of the Chibok girls – in its initial statement after Ms Nkeki was found, it used a wrong name.

In all, 218 girls remain missing after their abduction by the Boko Haram Islamist group from Chibok secondary school in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014.

Ms Nkeki told a Chibok community leader that six of the kidnapped girls had died, but the rest were still in the Sambisa forest where she was found.

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Amina Ali Nkeki (facing away from camera) showed her child to President Buhari

In a statement, Col Usman said: “We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government (Girls) Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14 April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.”

“Her name is Miss Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka.”

But the head of the group representing the Chibok girls’ parents said their own records did not match up with the details given by the army.

Yakubu Nkeki told the BBC there were four priests among the parents but none with the surname Luka.

Furthermore, the army said Miss Luka comes from Madagali in Adamawa state, but Mr Nkeki said all the abducted girls were from Borno state.

If the Nigerian army’s information about the class the girl was in is correct, she would have been aged between 11 or 12 at the time of her abduction, correspondents say.

Most of the girls abducted were several years older and about to sit their school-leaving examinations.

Col Usman said the 97 women and girls were found on Thursday in the Demboa area of Borno.

Earlier on Thursday, the first Chibok girl found, Ms Nkeki, 19, was flown to the capital Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Buhari said he was delighted she was back and could resume her education.

“But my feelings are tinged with deep sadness at the horrors the young girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life,” he added.

Ms Nkeki and her four-month-old baby were found by an army-backed vigilante group in the huge Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon.

She was with a suspected member of the Boko Haram Islamist group who claimed to be her husband.

More on the Chibok abductions:

Chibok rescue revives Twitter campaign

Inside Mbalala, the town that lost its girls

Chibok abductions: What we know

On patrol in the Sambisa forest

Torment of a freed Boko Haram ‘bride’

During the April 2014 attack, Boko Haram gunmen arrived in Chibok at night and raided the school dormitories, loading 276 girls onto trucks.

More than 50 managed to escape within hours, mostly by jumping off the lorries and running into roadside bushes, leaving 219 in the hand of Boko Haram.

The abduction led to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which was supported by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

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The Bring Back Our Girls campaigners and relatives of the girls have marched in Abuja to demand more be done to rescue them

Boko Haram at a glance:

  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, and hundreds abducted
  • Joined so-called Islamic State, now calls itself IS’s “West African province”
  • Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
  • Regional force has now retaken most of that territory

Who are Boko Haram?

Chibok girls: Nigerian army claims second rescue – BBC News