Boko Haram: Free our fighters if you want your girls back

BOKO Haram has released a video appearing to show the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Islamist group in April 2014. In it, the militant group claim a number of the girls have been killed by Nigerian government air strikes.

In the video, released on Twitter, a Boko Haram militant can be seen standing before approximately 50 girls dressed in headscarves. Addressing the camera, he demands the release of the group's fighters in exchange for the girls' freedom.

He claims five of the Chibok girls were killed by Nigerian military jets during an attack on the group's compound.

He says: "Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military.

"If our members in detention are not freed, let the government and parents of the Chibok girls know that they will never find these girls again."

The unidentified man, whose face is obscured, adds: "They should know that their children are still in our hands."

A Boko Haram militant stands in front of a group of young women -- thought to be those kidnapped from Chinok in 2014 -- while calling for its captured fighters to be released.
A Boko Haram militant stands in front of a group of young women -- thought to be those kidnapped from Chinok in 2014 -- while calling for its captured fighters to be released.

One of the girls then addresses the camera, saying: "Oh you, my people and our parents, you just have to please come to our rescue: We are suffering here, the aircraft has come to bombard us and killed many of us. Some are wounded. Every day we are in pain and suffering, so are our babies.

"Please go and beg the government of Nigeria to release the members of our abductors so that they too can free us and let us come home. We are really suffering, there is no food to eat, no good water to drink here."

It is understood the girls featured in the video are with a breakaway faction led by group leader Abubakar Shekau.

This is the third video to be released of the girls since they were kidnapped more than two years ago, sparking worldwide outrage.

A total of 276 girls were taken by the militants. While 57 managed to escape over the course of the ensuing months, the majority remain unaccounted for and are believed to remain in captivity.

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Those who escaped claimed some of the non-Muslim girls had been forced to convert to Islam, while others have been forced to marry Boko Haram members.

The mass kidnapping caused condemnation around the world and sparked the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign which received support from leading public figures including Michelle Obama and human rights activist Malala Yousafzai.



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