Freed Nigerian schoolgirls meeting families after 3 years

"I am really happy today, I am Christmas and New Year, I am very happy and I thank God", Godiya Joshua, whose daughter Esther was among those freed, said, AP reports.

Parents of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were released after being held for more than three years by Boko Haram have arrived in Abuja to reunite with their children.

Numerous kidnapped girls were forced to marry their captors and have borne them children. It was the largest release of the girls since the abduction.

The 103 girls are among the 276 abducted from Chibok Government Secondary School, Borno, on April 14, 2014.

The 82 girls, who were part of a huge group kidnapped from their school in 2014, are in the care of security services in the capital, Abuja.

After more than two weeks of the girls' release, the Federal Government has finally made arrangments to transport the parents to Abuja to see their daughters. It is feared some of the captured girls may have been used in suicide bombings.

The mass abduction in April 2014 brought worldwide attention to Boko Haram's deadly insurgency in northern Nigeria, and it launched a global Bring Back Our Girls campaign that drew the backing of some celebrities, including former US first lady Michelle Obama. Thousands have been kidnapped in northern Nigeria since the extremist group began its fight in 2009 to set up its own Islamic state, and more than 20,000 have been killed.

Both batches of girls were freed by Boko Haram in a swap deal with the federal government after negotiations with the terrorist group. Nigeria's Channel TV showed the young women laughing and embracing.

The girl was found by government troops while she was escaping, Femi Adesina said, without giving details.

  • Leroy Wright