Four of the more than 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by militants in April have escaped their captors, a Nigerian Ministry of Information official confirmed to NBC News.
The schoolgirls have been missing more than a month since they were abducted by Boko Haram, an Islamist terror organization, which first vowed to sell them into slavery and then said it would free them only in exchange for the release of militant prisoners.
Education commissioner Musa Inuwa told Reuters by telephone the four girls had been reunited with their parents, but he declined to provide the wire service with additional details of their escape.
The reports of the kidnapping have sparked global outrage. The United States has deployed surveillance drones, spy planes and roughly 30 civilian and military specialists to aid Nigeria's security forces in the hunt for the missing schoolgirls.
Nigeria has said it knows the whereabouts of the abducted girls. But U.S. military officials were quick to say that they could not confirm the report.
Reuters contributed to this report.
AFOLABI SOTUNDE / Reuters
The Abuja wing of the "Bring Back Our Girls" protest group prepare to march to the presidential villa to deliver a protest letter to Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, calling for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok who were kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, on May 22.
First published May 28 2014, 1:13 PM