MORE than 60 Nigerian girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have managed to escape.
Nigerian security forces and federal government officials had denied reports of the mass abduction from three villages in the north-eastern state of Borno on June 22.
Chibok local government chairman Pogu Bitrus said he had verified that about 63 women and girls escaped on Thursday and Friday.
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He sent a representative to meet some of the escapees and their families at a hospital in Lassa, a town in the neighbouring Damboa local government area.
Small-scale kidnappings by Boko Haram extremists had been going on for months before they drew international condemnation for the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok town of Borno state on April 15.
Some 219 of those girls still are missing. The failure of President Goodluck Jonathan's government and the country's military to rescue them attracted criticism at home and abroad.