ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigerian's Islamic extremists have freed one of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, Nigerian police reported Thursday, but a community leader says she's too traumatized to identify herself properly.
Hundreds of girls, women and boys have been kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters in the past year but the abduction of more than 270 schoolgirls and young women from a school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok in April inspired a worldwide campaign for their freedom.
More than 50 girls escaped by themselves at the scene or soon after and now 219 remain missing. The failure by the Nigerian government and military to rescue them has brought international condemnation.
Police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu told reporters that on Wednesday "a girl, 20 years of age, among the abducted Chibok girls was dropped off by suspected Boko Haram militants at Mubi," a town in northeast Adamawa state.
"The information we have is that she is one of the abducted girls," he said.
But Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus said he spoke to the young woman by phone and that the name she gave is not on the list of missing girls. "She is mentally traumatized, not coherent at all," he said.
He has asked security forces to send him a photograph so that parents may look at it and her image can be compared with a database of photographs of the missing students.
Bitrus also worried that "it could be a trick by Boko Haram to release another girl just to create a diversion."
The news comes two days after a false report that the military had custody of several of the girls kidnapped from Chibok. That was caused by confusion in reports after soldiers found some of the girls who had escaped early on, on a bus on the way to a school in the north.