Four of the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists last month have escaped their captors, the education commissioner for Nigeria's Borno state said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. 219 girls remain missing.
The girls were taking exams at a secondary school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok on April 14 when the Islamist gunmen surrounded it, loaded 276 of them onto trucks and carted them off, according to official figures.
53 escaped shortly afterwards, according to authorities in Borno state.
Education commissioner Musa Inuwa declined to give further details of the escape of the four, reported Reuters.
Earlier this week, Nigeria's highest ranking military officer said the country knew the girls’ location, but did not divulge further details.
Nigeria's government and military have been sharply criticized for their response to the mass abduction on April 14 and were finally forced to accept foreign help, including from the United States and Israel, in the rescue effort.
Concerns over the fate of the girls were heightened after Boko Haram's leader threatened to sell them as slaves. The Al-Qaeda-linked group has publicized a video showing some of the kidnapped girls, claiming they had converted to Islam.