The Nigerian government says the militant group Boko Haram has agreed to a cease-fire and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in April, the Voice of America News website reports today (October 18, 2014).
Nigeria's highest-ranking military official, General Alex Badeh, announced the cease-fire agreement yesterday. He ordered all of the country's military chiefs to abide by the deal.
Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for the past five years as it tries to turn northern Nigeria into an Islamic state. Bombings, gun attacks, and other acts of violence have killed thousands of civilians and police.
The militants outraged the world when they stormed a school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping some 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape, but more than 200 are still being held. Many of the girls are believed to have been used by the militants as sex slaves.