More than 80 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram arrive in Abuja

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The teenagers, who had been taken to a medical facility for checks after arriving in Abuja by military helicopter, met with the president for about 45 minutes, said an AFP reporter at the scene.

A group of 82 girls held captive for three years by Islamist militants arrived in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Sunday after they were released in exchange for several militant commanders, officials said.

Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor whose two daughters were among those kidnapped, said he was told of the release by the Bring Back Our Girls pressure group and an official in Maiduguri.

He said the current administration was averse to propaganda, adding that it was diligently working hard to put the country on the path of growth and development.

82 of the hundreds of girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 have been released, according to officials.

Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped secure the girls in "lengthy negotiations", the presidency said on its Twitter account.

Last month, he said in a radio interview that there were ongoing negotiations involving "some foreign entities" to release the 195 girls believed still held.

"Welcome our girls, welcome our sisters, we are glad to have you back", Kyari told them, describing it as "a very joyous moment".

Numerous kidnapped girls, most of whom were Christians, were forced to marry the Islamic extremists and became pregnant.

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Although the army has retaken much of the territory initially lost to Boko Haram, large parts of the northeast, particularly in Borno state, remain under threat from the militants.

Neither the Nigerian president nor Boko Haram, which has links to the Islamic State extremist group, gave details on the exchange.

Abuja: The 82 schoolgirls released yesterday headed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari after a prisoner swap deal with Boko Haram secured their freedom.

Boko Haram seized a total of 276 girls in the 2014 abduction.

A military and a civilian militia source in Banki, near the Nigerian border with Cameroon, said "at least 80" girls were brought to the town late afternoon on Saturday.

Human rights advocates also fear some of the girls have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.

The ICRC, which along with the Swiss government has mediated months of negotiations between Nigeria's government and Boko Haram, tweeted what might be the first public image of the freed schoolgirls on Sunday.

The mass abduction shocked the world, sparking a global #Bringbackourgirls campaign supported by former USA first lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities.

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