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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/16/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Boko Haram being blamed for Nigerian kidnapping

Over a hundred female students have been abducted by gunmen at a government secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. The mass kidnapping is believed to have been carried out by members of Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group that is believed to have killed 75 people in a bus bombing in the country's capital the day previously.

The kidnappings took place after midnight in Chibok in the Borno state, which is a longtime stronghold for Boko Haram.

The kidnappings took place after midnight in Chibok in the Borno state, which is a longtime stronghold for Boko Haram.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/16/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Nigeria, Boko Haram, abduction


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Over 100 female students in our government secondary school at Chibok have been abducted," teacher Audu Musa says. Teaching at another school nearby, she added that the people responsible re believed to be Boko Haram. The group has previously attacked schools in the region.

The kidnappings took place after midnight in Chibok in the Borno state, which is a longtime stronghold for Boko Haram.

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Gunmen had also killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students. Some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck, officials said.

A local government official said he did not know how many of the girls have escaped but that "many" have walked through the bushes and back to Chibok. The abducted girls were piled into the back of an open truck. While the bus was traveling, some grabbed at low-hanging branches to swing off while others jumped off the slow-moving vehicle, he said.

Boko Haram is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Nigerians over the past several years. Though their early attacks targeted security services, politicians and other high-profile individuals, the assaults have quickly spread to United Nations buildings, churches, schools and civilians.

Boko Haram had taken control of large swathes of the northern Borno state in 2013, the report said. The report was by the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and resolving conflict.

While the Nigerian government's military response coupled with civilian militia groups briefly debilitated the movement, kidnappings, forced conscription and recruiting of criminals bolstered their ranks.

Attacks by Boko Haram increased during the first three months in 2014 - with almost daily bombings of schools, homes and businesses.

In Borno state, the armed group has destroyed over 882 classrooms. In nearby Yobe state, all schools were shut from June to September 2013. It added that on March 6, 2014, the federal government closed five colleges in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, ordering their estimated 10,000 students to relocate. 

A massive explosion at a busy bus station in the capital, Abuja earlier this week killed scores of people. Authorities raised the death toll Tuesday to 75 dead, and that number is expected to grow.

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