Editor's note: 'Whoever they are, the important thing is that these girls were in the custody of terrorists in the Sambisa Forests and now they are free," Reuben Abati, chief spokesman to outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, tells NBC News about girls rescued from Boko Haram. - Tom
Editor's note: We are seeing a report of an explosion in Nigeria's Bauchi Park. There are also reports of an attack in Kashere. Both are in northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram attacks have been recently reported. - Stephanie
Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden), Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad, is a militant Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria. The group has received training and funds from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and was designated by the US as a terrorist organisation in November 2013. Membership has been estimated to number between a few hundred and a few thousand.
Boko Haram killed more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014, including at least 2,000 in the first half of 2014, in attacks occuring mainly in northeast, north-central and central states. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest. 650,000 people fled the conflict zone by August 2014, an increase of 200,000 since May.
"Since Boko Haram’s resurgence in 2010, the Nigerian government has struggled to respond to the growing threat posed by the group." (US CRS, 2014)