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A suspected suicide bomber intercepted in northern Cameroon on Friday before she could blow herself up claimed to be one of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in the Nigerian town of Chibok in 2014, military and local government sources said.
Reuters News Agency is reporting that two girls carrying explosives were stopped by local self-defence forces in the village of Limani, in an area of northern Cameroon that has been the target of frequent suicide bombings in recent months.
They were then handed over to Cameroonian soldiers belonging to a multi-national force set up to take on Boko Haram.
In a high-profile attack that sparked a global outcry, Boko Haram militants raided the school in April 2014 while the girls were taking exams. They loaded 270 of them onto trucks, though around 50 escaped shortly afterwards.
“One of them indeed declared that she is one of the Chibok hostages. She is around 15. We are now verifying, because on the Nigerian side they have the names and photos of these girls,” said local government administrator Raymond Roksdo.
Two military sources, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the press, also confirmed that the girl had claimed to have been one of the Chibok abductees.
“We need a few days to be able to confirm this information. We have to debrief all the men who were present and interrogate the two girls before we can say anything,” one of the military sources said.
Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was criticised for his slow reaction to the Chibok abductions, seen by many as indicative of his response to Boko Haram, which at its strongest held large swathes of northeastern Nigeria.
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