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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — More than 60 Nigerian girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have managed to escape, officials said Monday, though more than 200 girls who were kidnapped in April remain missing.

Nigerian security forces and federal government officials had denied reports of the mass abduction from three villages in the northeast state of Borno on June 22.

Chibok local government chairman Pogu Bitrus said Monday that he had verified that about 60 women and girls escaped on Thursday and Friday by sending a representative who met with some of the escapees and their families at the hospital in Lassa, a town in the neighboring Damboa local government area.

Vigilante leader Abbas Gava in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, said Sunday that vigilantes in the area told him 63 women and girls escaped Friday while their captors were engaged in a major attack on a military barracks and police headquarters in Damboa town.

Small-scale kidnappings by Boko Haram extremists had been going on for months when they drew international condemnation for the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok town of Borno state on April 15. Some 219 of those girls still are missing.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • mitchstoner
    July 7, 2014 at 6:22 p.m.

    Boko Haram and others of their ilk love to prey on the defenseless. How I would love to be able to go into those villages and arm and train the people to be able to stand up to the cowardly terrorists.

    Look at Israel: in spite of the massive hatred for Israel of the peoples who surround Israel's borders, and the huge supply of weapons the Arabs and Palestinians have, attacks into Israel are actually pretty rare.

    It is because those who hate the Israelis know they will not find defenseless victims if they attack into Israel.