UPDATED: President Buhari confirms release of Chibok girls

Twenty one of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls forcefully taken from their school by Boko Haram insurgents in April 2014 has been released to the Nigerian government, a government source said.

The sources disclosed that the girls were picked up by military helicopter from Banki area of Borno state where Boko Haram militants dropped them off earlier today.

Confirming the good news, the senior special assistant to the president on Media told news men that the Nigerian Army took the girls.

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Shehu said the released girls were currently in the custody of the Department of State Services.

 He said the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, briefed President Buhari of the development shortly before the President left for Germany.

Shehu added that Daura wanted the girls, who were very tired, to rest before he would hand them over to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

He attributed the release of the 21 girls to negotiations between the government and the Boko Haram sect brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government.

“The release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and Boko Haram.

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“The negotiations was as a result of peace talks brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government.

“The negotiations will continue.

“The President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were [neutralized] via terrorism.

“Daura wants the girls to have some rest, with all of them very tired coming out of the process before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

“The President takes off shortly on a trip to Germany for a state visit. The names of the released girls follows shortly,”