.- On Wednesday, terrorist group Boko Haram returned at least 76 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped in a raid last month.
More than 30 girls are still missing, some of whom are allegedly still being held, while others have reportedly died, possibly of thirst, according to reports from the New York Times.
On Feb. 19th, Boko Haram raided a girls’ technical school in Dapchi, a small town in northeastern Nigeria. Witnesses said the militants stormed the school and herded 110 students into trucks and drove away.
Father Maurice Kwairanga, who coordinates the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) for the Nigerian Diocese of Yola, told CNA last month that in the wake of the kidnapping, “deep sorrow has descended on the once sleepy…town” of Dapchi.
Residents of Dapchi told the New York Times that they were “very, very happy” for the return of so many of the schoolgirls.
They added that when the militants dropped off the girls, they gathered several residents around them to warn them that the girls should not be allowed to return to school.
Of the girls still being held by the militants, sources told the New York Times that one of them, Leah Sherubu, is a Christian who has refused orders to convert to Islam.
Boko Haram is a militant Islamist group based in northeastern Nigeria. The group launched an uprising in 2009 hoping to impose strict sharia law on the country. It has been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, targeting security forces, politicians, Christian minorities, and moderate Muslims in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north. In 2015, the group pledged allegiance to ISIS.