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Plan mourns “tragic killing” of Dapchi girls

Plan International Nigeria has welcomed the release of some of the 110 girls kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state, but condemned the killing of some of the girls before their eventual release.

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The organisation’s country director Hussaini Abdu in a statement said, "Our heart goes out to the families of girls who were tragically killed by their kidnappers."

Upon their release on Wednesday, one of the freed girls, 15-year-old Fatsuma Abdullahi, said five girls died in congestion when their kidnappers crammed them into vehicles.

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Abdu praised "prompt action" by Nigerian authorities to rescue the girls but raises concern about the stigma they would face for being considered Boko Haram kidnap victims.

"We know that girls who return to their communities after escaping capture often face stigma and exclusion. So it is vital that the authorities now take care of these girls through adequate rehabilitation and protection," said Abdu.

“Girls who are kidnapped are subject to unspeakable abuse including forced marriage, sexual violence and slavery.

"That is why we are calling on the Nigerian authorities to ensure every school is made safe and secure for students, especially girls, so they can learn without fear and look towards a brighter future.”

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