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DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boko Haram has freed 21 of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group in April 2014 in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok, the government said on Thursday.
Around 270 girls were taken from their school in Chibok in the northeastern Borno state, where the Islamist militants have waged a seven-year insurgency to try to set up an Islamic state.
"The release of the girls ... is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government," a presidency statement said. "The negotiations will continue."
Nigeria will continue its military operations against Boko Haram, the country's information minister said. He also said Nigeria did not swap any Boko Haram prisoners for the release of the girls, who would be brought to the capital Abuja later on Thursday.
Here are 10 key facts about the Chibok schoolgirls and the Islamist militant group Boko Haram:
Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Additional Reporting by Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram, Felix Onuah and Ulf Laessing in Abuja; Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org