11 parents of missing Chibok girls have died since the kidnappings
Seven parents of the missing Chibok girls were killed in an attack on a nearby village – and another four have died of ilnesses, according to residents.
The Nigerian town which was thrust into the global spotlight is also increasingly under siege as Boko Haram extremists close in.
But some of the girls who escaped from their captors are beginning to recover from the trauma and are even talking about returning to school.
The picture of what is happening in Chibok emerged the day before vigils are held across the world to mark 100 days since Boko Haram gunmen stormed the Government Secondary School and abducted almost 300 girls.
Relatives of the 219 girls still being held, probably in forests near the Nigeria-Cameroon border, and some of the 57 students who escaped met President Goodluck Jonathan today at his presidential palace in the capital Abuja.
The Associated Press said the seven parents killed were among 51 bodies taken to Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari. The information came from a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals.
At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on the trauma of the kidnapping, said community leader Pogu Bitrus.
He said: “One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters until life left him.”
AP said Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok, attacking villages ever closer to the town. Villagers who survive the assaults are swarming into the town, swelling its population and straining resources. A food crisis looms, along with shortages of money and fuel, said Mr Bitrus.
The Chibok health worker said the girls who had escaped at first refused to discuss their experience. But now some are talking about it and taking part in therapeutic singing and drawing.
He said counselling is being offered to families of those abducted and to some of the students who escaped in the first few days.
A new online petition by A World at School – which you can sign on this page – is calling for the safe return of the girls. People can also leave messages of support along with the petition and these will be passed to Chibok community leaders and families of the girls.