7 Jul 2014

Girls 'escape abductors' in Nigeria

7:01 pm on 7 July 2014

More than 60 women and girls abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria in June have escaped their captors, sources say, but more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held.

Local vigilante Abbas Gava said on Sunday the women fled when their captors went out to fight the Nigerian army.

Boko Haram attacks have claimed hundreds of lives in recent months.

Boko Haram attacks have claimed hundreds of lives in recent months. Photo: AFP / YOUTUBE / BOKO HARAM

A high-level security source in the Borno state capital Maiduguri, who requested anonymity, confirmed the escape, AFP reports.

Clashes took place between the Islamists and the army late Friday after an attack by the insurgents in the town of Damboa, where 53 of them and six soldiers were killed, the army said.

The rebels attacked barracks and a police station while most of the troops were out on patrol in surrounding villages.

Meanwhile, activists of the Bring Back Our Girls movement tried to march on the presidential palace in Abuja on Sunday to pressure the government over the fate of more than 200 girls kidnapped in Chibok in Borno on 14 April, but were asked by security forces to turn back.

Of the 276 girls seized in April, 57 have escaped while 219 are still missing.

The insurgents' kidnap of the schoolgirls provoked international outrage and drew unprecedented global attention to the Islamist uprising.