Dapchi girls: Freed Nigerian girls tell of kidnap ordeal

In the early hours of Wednesday, Boko Haram militants drove into the Nigerian town of Dapchi and released the majority of the schoolgirls they had abducted more than a month before.

The government says 106 children – 104 schoolgirls, a girl who did not go to the school, and a boy – were freed. It denied claims that a ransom was exchanged to secure the girls’ release.

News of the girls’ return led to celebration in the town, although five girls are reported to have died. The only Christian girl of the group is still in captivity. Parents told AFP that Boko Haram would release her if she converted to Islam, which she refuses to do.

Here is the schoolgirls’ account of their ordeal. We gave them different names to protect their privacy:

The capture

Militants stormed the town on the evening of Monday, 19 February. They headed towards the compound of a girls’ boarding school as they fired guns into the air.

Fatima Awaal, 13, who was not abducted, told the BBC early in March that the attackers wore military fatigues and sandals. She claims they were bearded and had turbans on their heads. Awaal managed to evade capture but her best friend was not as lucky.

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