MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A Nigerian military source says four detained Boko Haram leaders have been freed in exchange for the release of 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago.
The officer said the extremists were released Wednesday night in Banki, a town on the northeast border with Cameroon. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press on the matter.
He said the freed girls were flown by helicopter to Maiduguri, the northeastern capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram.
Nigeria’s government said the release of the girls is the result of negotiations with Boko Haram. The girls are the first to be released as a result of government action.