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In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari, centre, meets with Chibok school girls recently freed from Nigeria Extremist captivity in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday, May 7, 2017. Five Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the freedom of 82 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group three years ago, a Nigerian government official said Sunday, as the girls were expected to meet with the country's president and their families.
Bayo Omoboriowo/Nigeria State House/AP
Education

Boko Haram Has Reportedly Abducted Over 90 Nigerian Schoolgirls

This article first appeared on Voice of America. 

More than 90 Nigerian schoolgirls are reportedly missing after the Boko Haram extremist group attacked their school two days ago in the northeastern state of Yobe.

People with direct knowledge of the matter said 91 students were found to be absent after a Tuesday roll-call at the school.

The disappearance has raised fears of another mass kidnapping by Boko Haram, which abducted 276 girls from a school in the village of Chibok in April 2014.

That abduction sparked worldwide outrage and triggered formation of the Bring Back Our Girls movement. Nearly four years later, more than 100 of the Chibok girls are still missing.

Take Action:  Keep Crisis-Affected Girls in School

Fearing a repeat of the Chibok abductions, dozens of parents and guardians gathered Wednesday at the Government Girls Science Secondary School in the town of Dapchi demanding information.

"Our girls have been missing for two days and we don't know their whereabouts," said Abubakar Sheu, an uncle of one of the missing students.

"I saw girls crying and wailing in three Tata vehicles and they were crying for help," said a witness from the village of Gumsa who was reportedly forced to direct the insurgents out of the area.

Read More:  More Than 100 Chibok Girls Still Missing After Boko Haram Frees Dozens

Nigerian police and the regional Education Ministry have denied abductions occurred, despite parental and other witness accounts that the girls are missing. The state ministry of education also denied the abductions, but closed the school for a week to allow students and their families to reunite.

Witnesses told Reuters Boko Haram militants arrived in Dapchi Monday evening in trucks, some armed with heavy guns. They said the insurgents immediately went to the school firing guns sporadically. Nigerian security forces, they said, launched a search and rescue mission shortly thereafter.

Since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and 2 million others forced to leave their homes in northeastern Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

The group has used kidnapping as a weapon of war, abducting thousands of women and young girls, in addition to boys and men of fighting age.