彩神app软件安卓Nigeria says 101 out of 110 schoolgirls now released by Boko Haram

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File photo shows a Chibok girl (R) released from terror group Boko Haram's captivity hugs her relative in Abuja, Nigeria, May 20, 2017.(Xinhua/Olatunji Obasa)

ABUJA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The number of schoolgirls who were released on Wednesday by terror group Boko Haram after their abduction last month in the northeastern town of Dapchi has increased from 76 to 101, the Nigerian government said.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed gave the update in a statement, saying the number could still increase as security agencies had commenced the profiling of the freed schoolgirls.

A total of 110 schoolgirls were abducted from an all-girl college in Dapchi on Feb. 19.

The government had earlier confirmed 76 of them released early Wednesday.

Authorities said no ransom was paid to secure the release of schoolgirls.

The girls released by terror group Boko Haram were dropped off somewhere in Dapchi town at 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday, and not handed over to anyone.

Mohammed said they were released "through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country."

For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out, he explained.

The official said during negotiation, the Boko Haram group had insisted on returning the girls to where they were abducted from.

A jubilant crowd welcomed the girls to Dapchi town on Wednesday, according to witnesses.

Local residents of Dapchi said some people suspected to be Boko Haram fighters brought back the girls to the town in trucks, the same way they were abducted from their dormitories at the Government Girls Science and Technical College on Feb. 19.

"Everyone fled for safety when the news about suspected Boko Haram's invasion got to us. But it was soon realized that the people who brought the girls were carrying no guns," said Mallam Adamu, a resident.

File photo shows a Chibok girl (R) released from terror group Boko Haram's captivity hugs her relative in Abuja, Nigeria, May 20, 2017.(Xinhua/Olatunji Obasa)

Last Wednesday, Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari visited Dapchi, located 1150 kilometers from Damaturu, capital of the northern Yobe State to sympathize with parents of the girls and assure them that girls would return soon.

Buhari had said the government would bring back the girls through negotiation and not by force.

The tragedy of their abduction had brought back memories of a similar occurrence four years ago in Africa's most populous country when more than 150 schoolgirls, also from an all-girl college, were abducted by Boko Haram in the northeastern town of Chibok.

Only 107 of the Chibok girls have been rescued or returned amid ongoing government negotiation with Boko Haram.

The United Nations believes Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 innocent people since 1509 through terror attacks.

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