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Nigeria's Military Retracts Statement About Abducted Girls

The Nigerian military has retracted a statement it made earlier this week that indicated most of the girls abducted from a secondary school had been freed.

Major General Chris Olukolade says a field report indicated a "major breakthrough" in the search for the missing girls and there was "no reason to doubt this official channel."

He said the information had been forwarded to the public in "good faith" and and was "not intended to deceive the public."

The defense ministry issued Olukolade's statement late Thursday, a day after Nigeria's Joint Information Center said that all but eight of the more than 100 students who were kidnapped, Monday, had been freed. The principal of the school in the northeastern Borno state region quickly denied the report.

On Friday, Borno state education commissioner Musa Kuba told VOA the military's erroneous report about the students had heightened their parents' "impatience and apprehension."

Meanwhile, the school's principal says the number of kidnapped girls who are known to have escaped from their captors has risen to 32. Asabe Kwanbura said Friday that some of the girls jumped from their captor's vehicles while others had escaped from a camp.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the kidnappings, which took place after gunmen launched an attack in the town of Chibok.

But, the assault is similar to attacks that have been carried out by the Boko Haram militant group.