'We've returned the girls out of pity… don't ever put your daughters in school again,' Boko Haram warns

File: AFP
File: AFP

Lagos - Boko Haram militants have issued an ominous warning to the parents of the Nigerian schoolgirls after releasing the girls in the town where they were abducted a month ago.

A witness in the town of Dapchi tells The Associated Press that the fighters told residents they had returned the girls "out of pity".

"And don't ever put your daughters in school again," they warned.

Boko Haram translates as "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language.

It is not immediately clear how many of the 110 girls have been freed.

In 2014, the group abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, and about 100 of them have never returned to their families.

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09:35

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Umar Hassan, a resident in Dapchi town, tells The Associated Press that many fled upon hearing that Boko Haram insurgents were headed into the town again.

He says that while in hiding, residents saw the missing girls getting out of the Boko Haram vehicles.

A second resident, Kachallah Musa, says the militants later left without any confrontation.

It is not immediately clear how many of the girls have been freed.

Their release comes a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed warnings of the attack. The military has called the report an "outright falsehood."

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08:30

Nigeria's military is dismissing as "outright falsehood" an Amnesty International report that claims security forces were warned several times ahead of a mass abduction of 110 schoolgirls last month.

The attack by suspected Boko Haram extremists caused fresh outrage in Africa's most populous country and reminded many of Boko Haram's abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014.

Amnesty International on Tuesday cited sources including security officials and witnesses who said military and police received at least five calls in the hours before the attack. The rights group said no lessons had been learned from Chibok and urged Nigeria's government to make public its investigation into the new attack in Dapchi town.

Nigeria's acting director of defense information John Agim says no security force was informed of the mass abduction.

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