About 50 girls remain missing several days after an attack on a village in Nigeria by Boko Haram extremists.
Many of the girls at a local boarding school were whisked to safety when the Boko Haram militants launched their assault on Monday evening in Yobe state.
State government officials said on Wednesday about 50 girls remained missing though dozens had returned to the area after fleeing.
Abdullahi Bego, a spokesman for Yobe state’s governor, said authorities have no credible information that the missing girls were abducted by Boko Haram.
Some witnesses, though, have described seeing the militants take girls with them.
Boko Haram drew international condemnation when they abducted 276 girls from Chibok in 2014. About 100 of them are believed to remain with their captors.
“I share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted on Wednesday evening. “I would like to assure them that we are doing all in our power to ensure the safe return of all the girls.”
Armed Boko Haram fighters invaded Dapchi on Monday evening, forcing residents, including students of Government Girls Secondary school, to flee into the bush.
Mr Bego said that more than 50 of the 926 students were still missing. Earlier reports indicated that about 90 were not in class on Tuesday, suggesting that some had returned within the past 24 hours.
Aishatu Abdullahi, a student at the school, was among those who escaped on foot and spent the night hiding in an abandoned house.
“They were shooting guns and everyone was confused. Then we started running all confused,” she told reporters, speaking in the Hausa language. “We saw some people pushing some of the students to enter their vehicles.”
“Many of us are traumatised,” she said, adding that the school had given students a one-week break after the ordeal. But, in all honesty, I am not willing to come back here because we are scared of what could happen to us in the future.”