Missing Nigerian schoolgirls: could growing pressure on Boko Haram lead to their release?

Growing military pressure on Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists has raised hopes that they may free some of their schoolgirl hostages as part of a deal to escape being hunted down and killed.

As the anniversary approaches of the group’s kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok on April 14, diplomats say the sole chance of any of the girls being released alive is if cornered commanders opt to use them as “bargaining chips”.