Sixty-three girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists escape
Some 63 girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have escaped, officials say.
Nigerian security forces and federal government officials have denied reports of another mass abduction from three villages in the north east on June 22.
Small-scale kidnappings by Boko Haram extremists had been going on for months before they drew international condemnation over the abductions of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok town of Borno state on April 15.
Some 219 of those girls still are missing. The government and military failure to rescue them has attracted criticism at home and abroad.
Local government chairman Pogu Bitrus and vigilante leader Abbas Gava said they have verified that 63 women and girls escaped over Thursday and Friday while their captors were engaged in a major battle with soldiers.