One day after the Nigerian military retracted a statement that nearly all 129 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants were released, Education Commissioner Muso Inowu Kubo has confirmed to Al Jazeera that 44 of the girls are back home with their parents.
Kubo hasn’t provided any further details. However, A town official says that people angry at the false statement and failure to find the girls were taking the initiative to search the forest themselves.
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that the Nigerian military was searching for the 85 missing girls in the Sambisa Forest, an area known to be a hiding place for Boko Haram.
The militant group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadliest attack on the capital, which occurred only hours before the abductions.
“We are the ones that carried out the attack in Abuja,” Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau says in a video message obtained by the AFP news agency. “We are in your city, but you don’t know where we are.”
The group aims to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.