BUJA, Nigeria — It was the middle of an April night and the girls at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School were exhausted, asleep after a long day of prepping for physics exams.
It was quiet around the dormitory, deep in the heart of Borno in northern Nigeria, where the landscape is barren and life hard.
Then shots pierced the still night, recalled Amina Gumbu, 17, a student at the school.
"The gunshots woke me out of a deep sleep," she said. "Men in uniforms came in saying there were here to rescue us: 'Wake up, girls, we've come to rescue you, we're soldiers, don't worry, you are safe. Get out and assemble close to the parade ground. We will save you.'