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Nigerian Army Retakes Chibok, Home Of Kidnapped Schoolgirls

Nigeria's army says it has recaptured the northeastern town of Chibok from Boko Haram militants who claimed to have seized it the day before, six months after the rebels abducted hundreds of schoolgirls from the city.

Nigerian army spokesman Brig. Gen. Olajide Olaleye told the Associated Press that "Chibok is firmly in the hands of the Nigerian army."

The news that the town has been recaptured follow reports on Saturday that Chibok had been captured by Boko Haram.

The AP notes:

"Chibok is an enclave of mainly Christian families, some involved in translating the Bible into local languages, in the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria.

"Although the army has regained control of Chibok, Boko Haram still holds several towns and cities in an area covering an estimated 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles) where the insurgents have declared an Islamic caliphate, along the lines of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The extremists fly the black and white flag of al-Qaida and establish a strict version of Shariah law, publicly amputating the hands of alleged looters and whipping people for infractions such as smoking cigarettes."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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