Extremist group Boko Haram has returned most of the 110 girls it abducted last month from a Nigerian boarding school, witnesses told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Witnesses said members of the militant group drove into the city of Dapchi with nine vans and left the girls in the middle of town and warned about educating the group.
“This is a warning to you all,” an extremist said according to the AP. “We did it out of pity. And don’t ever put your daughters in school again.”
The Nigerian government said that the group freed 101 of the girls and that the number would be updated as more girls are returned.
Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, said the girls were released “through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional,” according to the AP. He said the government did not pay the group any ransoms.
Many parents were reunited with their daughters on Wednesday.
“I’m more than excited,” Aisha Bukar told USA Today. “I’m so happy to be with my daughter.”
In 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls, which caused international outrage and ignited the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.