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AKIPRESS.COM - The Nigerian military on Friday admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the country's restive northeast remained missing, AFP reports.
The military had claimed on Wednesday that all but eight of the 129 girls snatched from their school in the state of Borno managed to escape, contrary to the position of the state government and the school principal.
"The defence headquarters wishes to defer to the school principal and governor's statement on the number of students still missing," defence ministry spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement on Friday.
He said that vigilante groups and hunters were assisting the authorities in the frantic search for the girls, who were grabbed from the Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok area of Borno state.
Up to 20 girls are thought to have escaped.
"We have recovered about 20 girls now and they are with us. After they escaped, the girls went to village heads who live close to where they found themselves and the local leaders brought them to us," Mallam Inuwa Kubo, Borno's education commissioner, said on Thursday.
The mass abduction on Monday sparked global outrage and came just hours after the deadliest attack to hit capital Abuja, where a bomb blast also blamed on Boko Haram killed at least 75 people.