A decade on, Nigeria army rescues abducted Chibok girl

Nigeria The girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok.  By Laurie Churchman AFP
The girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. By Laurie Churchman (AFP)

Nigerian troops rescued another of the missing Chibok girls, 10 years after Boko Haram jihadists kidnapped more than 270 of them from their school in the northeast, the army said on Thursday.

A decade after the abduction sparked international outcry, almost 100 of the girls seized at a secondary school in the Chibok district are still thought to be held captive or are missing.

Nigeria's army said on Thursday troops rescued Lydia Simon with her three children in Gwoza district in northeast Borno State.

"Lydia was five months pregnant at the time of her rescue and claimed to be from Pemi Town in Chibok," it said.

Over the years since the 2014 abduction, the army has rescued a number of the Chibok women, many of whom were forced into marriage by their jihadist captors and returned with children.

The military has now recaptured large areas once held by Boko Haram, which has also been weakened by infighting with its more dominant rival, Islamic State West Africa Province.

But militants still carry out attacks and kidnappings in remote areas and on convoys travelling out of towns protected by army garrisons.

More than 40,000 people have been killed and more than two million more displaced by the northeast conflict since it began in 2009.

Mass abductions are still a major worry elsewhere in Nigeria and kidnap gangs have often targeted schools to snatch students for ransom demands.

More than 1,680 pupils were kidnapped in Nigerian schools from early 2014 to the end of 2022, according to the charity Save the Children.

Last month more than 130 children were kidnapped from their school by gunmen in northwest Kaduna state in one of the largest abductions in recent years.

Nigeria's army said all the pupils were rescued by troops a few weeks later in neighbouring Zamfara State, though no details emerged about the operation.