She Was Kidnapped a Decade Ago With 275 Girls. Finally, She Escaped.

Saratu Dauda had been kidnapped. It was 2014, she was 16, and she was in a truck packed with her classmates heading into the bush in northeastern Nigeria, a member of the terrorist group Boko Haram at the wheel. The girls’ boarding school in Chibok, miles behind them, had been set on fire.

Then she noticed that some girls were jumping off the back of the truck, she said, some alone, others in pairs, holding hands. They ran and hid in the scrub as the truck trundled on.

But before Ms. Dauda could jump, she said, one girl raised the alarm, shouting that others were “dropping and running.” Their abductors stopped, secured the truck and continued toward what, for Ms. Dauda, would prove a life-changing nine years in captivity.

“If she hadn’t shouted that, we would have all escaped,” Ms. Dauda said in a series of interviews this past week in the city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram’s violent insurgency.

Kidnapped from their dormitory exactly 10 years ago, the 276 captives known as the Chibok Girls were catapulted to fame by Michelle Obama, by churches that took up the mostly Christian students’ cause and by campaigners using the slogan “Bring Back Our Girls.”

“The only crime of these girls was to go to school,” said Allen Manasseh, a youth leader from Chibok who has spent years pushing for their release.

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