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Malala Yousufzai meets missing Nigeria girls' families
LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- Malala Yousufzai, the 17-year-old Pakistani girl who has become a symbol of women's rights since surviving an attack on her life by the Taliban, is lending her voice to the girls kidnapped in Nigeria, many of whom are the same age.
They're the same age. Mere teenagers, but all have experienced horror beyond their years.
Yousufzai visited Nigeria on her 17th birthday to listen and lend her voice to the nearly 300 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, more than 200 of which are still missing.
Kawna Bitrus and Hauwa John escaped just in time. Together they jumped from the back of a truck as Boko Haram tried to take them away, but the night they were taken from the dormitory still haunts them.
"We wake up screaming in the night," Bitrus says.
"I don't leave my house now," John says. "It's too difficult; every time I see family of the missing girls they break down and cry."
Malala also met with parents of some of the missing girls.
"We are with you; we are standing with you in your campaign, because I consider those girls my sisters; they are my sisters, and I'm going to speak up for them until they are released," says Yousufzai.
For three months they've called for the safe return of their daughters. Now they hope it's the voice of a teenager that will make the difference.
Just this past week, more than 60 women and girls held captive by Boko Haram escaped from their kidnappers.
The Nigerian women were taken three weeks ago. The extremists say they want to force a strict interpretation of Islamic law across Nigeria.
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