KANO, Nigeria - Three days after heavily armed men raided a Nigerian school and seized 129 girls, the fate of 8 is still unclear.
The Boko Haram militants herded the students onto buses, vans and trucks Monday and drove off, flanked by motorcycles, authorities said.
The group later freed all but eight, according to the Nigerian military.
It was not immediately clear how they became free or what condition they were in. CNN could not confirm the number of students still being held.
"They forced us into trucks, buses and vans, some of which were carrying foodstuffs and petrol. They left with us in a convoy into the bush," said one of girls, who escaped and declined to be named for security reasons. "A group of motorcyclists flanked the convoy to ensure none of us escaped."
At one point, one of the trucks broke down and the girls on that vehicle were transferred to another one, the student said. The broken down truck was set on fire, she added.
When another vehicle broke down and the men tried to fix it, "some of us jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the bush. We later found our way back to Chibok," she said, referring to the northeastern town where her school is located.
One of the alleged attackers has been captured and a military search is ongoing, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said Wednesday.
Boko Haram, which translates as "Western education is sin," is an Islamist militant group waging a campaign of violence in northeastern Nigeria, particularly in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
The group is known to have carried out deadly attacks on other schools in the northeast.
In early March, Borno closed all its 85 secondary schools and sent more than 120,000 students home after increasing attacks by the militant group. Chibok is in Borno state.
Rescue teams, aided by surveillance helicopters, were moving deeper into the vast forest that extends into neighboring Cameroon and other states in the region, said Ali Ndume, a senator representing southern Borno state.
A broken down truck believed to have been part of the kidnapping convoy was found abandoned at the edge of the forest, which suggests the abductors took their hostages into the woods on foot, he added.