African terrorist group Boko Haram has released almost all of the 110 girls abducted from a Nigerian boarding school last month witnesses said, but it came with a warning: “Don’t ever put your daughters in school again.”
The militants rolled into Dapchi, Nigeria, around 2 a.m. in nine vehicles and the girls were left in the center of town, witnesses said.
Ba’ana Musa, a resident, told the Associated Press that extremists said, “This is a warning to all of you.”
Extremists reportedly told residents they “did it out of pity. And don’t ever put your daughters in school again.”
Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.
Nigeria’s government said 101 of the 110 schoolgirls have been confirmed freed and that the number “would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented.”
“No ransoms were paid,” the information minister, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement.
“This is a warning to all of you.”
The girls were released “through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional.”
Family members were en route into town Wednesday morning.
"When I get there we will do a head count to see if all of them have been released," said Bashir Manzo, whose 16-year-old daughter was among those kidnapped Feb. 19.
Manzo confirmed to the Associated Press that his daughter was among those freed.
“As I speak to you there is jubilation in Dapchi,” he said.
Residents in Dapchi fled on Wednesday morning upon hearing that Boko Haram vehicles were headed toward the town.
"We fled but, from our hiding, we could see them and surprisingly, we saw our girls getting out of the vehicles," Umar Hassan told the AP.
Boko Haram horrified the world when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok more than four years ago. While some escaped and many others were released as part of negotiations, about 100 remain with their captors.
Some girls were forced to marry their captors, and many had children fathered by the militants.
The release of the Dapchi girls comes a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed several warnings of the imminent attack last month. The military has called the report an "outright falsehood."
Nigeria's government celebrated the girls' release. "GREAT NEWS from Dapchi, Yobe State. Thank God for the safe return of our sisters. Alhamdulillah!" an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, said on Twitter.
Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.