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Over 60 women and girls have escaped from the hands of dangerous militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

According to TIME, 63 women and girls were reported to have fled their captors. The escape was confirmed by local news agency Agence France-Presse and anonymous sources from the state of Borno.

The girls took the opportunity to escape Friday when their captors were away fighting. “They took the bold step when their abductors moved out to carry out an operation,” local vigilante Abbas Gava said. A high-level security source in Borno state capital Maiduguri, who requested anonymity, also confirmed the escape.

The women and girls were among the group kidnapped from Damboa in northeastern Nigeria in June. The escape comes after the government launched an attack against the group on Friday that left 50 members of Boko Haram dead.

At least 50 insurgents were killed as the Nigerian military repelled an attack on its military base in the town of Damboa, said the Defense Ministry on Saturday. Six Nigerian soldiers, including the commanding officer, died during the fighting, said Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade.

Even with the women and girls finding an escape, over 200 schoolgirls are still missing from the Boko Haram kidnapping in April. Nigerian officials closed the initial investigation over two weeks ago after constant setbacks and failed leads.


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