Girls as young as 3 abducted in Nigeria

2014-06-25 09:11
Abubakar Shekau claims to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. (Boko Haram/ AFP)

Abubakar Shekau claims to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. (Boko Haram/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Maiduguri - Suspected Boko Haram militants have abducted more than 60 women and girls, some as young as three, in the latest kidnappings in northeast Nigeria and over two months since more than 200 schoolgirls were seized.

Analysts said the kidnapping, which happened during a raid late on Monday on Kummabza village in the Damboa district of Borno state, could be an attempt by the Islamist group to refocus attention on its demands for the release of militant fighters.

Boko Haram has indicated that it would be willing to release the 219 schoolgirls that it has held hostage since 14 April in exchange for the freedom of its brothers in arms currently held in Nigerian jails.

Nigeria initially refused to sanction any deal, but efforts have since been made to open talks with the group, with a possible prisoner swap part of discussions.

The military in Abuja said in a tweet late on Monday it could not confirm the latest abductions, and spokesmen were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP on Tuesday.

Borno senator Ali Ndume confirmed the latest abductions, and said Boko Haram "took advantage" as people returned to the area to check on their farms during flooding when there was no military presence in the area.

"Boko Haram selected young males and females" as hostages, and "left the elderly", he said, amid local media reports that some 30 young boys may have also been taken.

A senior officer in the Damboa local government said: "Over 60 women were hijacked and forcefully taken away by the terrorists.

"The village was also destroyed," he said, adding that "among those abducted are children between the ages of three and 12".

'Shot dead'

Aji Khalil, a local vigilante leader, said: "Over 60 women were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists. They were forcefully taken away by Boko Haram terrorists.

"Four villagers who tried to escape were shot dead on the spot."

Damboa local government officials said they were afraid to speak out because of the controversy surrounding the Chibok abductions, with Nigeria's government coming under heavy criticism for its slow response.

News of the abductions came as locals in three villages of the Askira Uba district, some 60km to the south, said they had been attacked over the weekend.

Resident Emos Ali said "many" people had died, although no official toll was available.

A bomb blast blamed on Boko Haram killed at least eight at a public health college in the northern city of Kano on Monday.

The newly-appointed religious leader the Emir of Kano, former central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the attack had "traumatised every one of us" after visiting the wounded in hospital.

"We pray to Allah to bring an end to this security situation and may Allah not allow a repeat of this," he said in his first comments on Boko Haram violence since his appointment.

Established tactic

Boko Haram, which has been waging a deadly insurgency since 2009, used the kidnapping of women and young girls as a tactic even before the mass abduction of the schoolgirls in the remote Borno town of Chibok.

The Chibok abduction triggered a groundswell of outrage within Nigeria that spread overseas, leading to a social media campaign and international pressure on the government to act.

Ryan Cummings, a South Africa-based security analyst for Red 24, said the latest kidnappings could be a way for Boko Haram to redirect international focus on the Chibok hostages.

"It seemed that with international and domestic focus on the issue waning, so has the Nigerian government's efforts in finding a resolution to the hostage situation," he told AFP by email.

"It was reported on May 26 that the Nigerian government had rescinded on a hostage exchange agreement with the sect and that negotiations subsequently had stalled.

"The latest abduction, if confirmed, may be an attempt by Boko Haram to both resume and expedite hostage negotiations."

Meanwhile, security forces in neighbouring Cameroon killed eight gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram, a paramilitary officer said there Tuesday.

The far north of Cameroon has become a hotbed of Boko Haram activity, with its porous borders making it an easy staging post for attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria.

A mixed squad of soldiers and paramilitary officers were patrolling the area around the town of Mora when they came across "a dozen Islamists," the officer from regional capital Maroua said on condition of anonymity.

"Clashes broke out and our forces got the upper hand. Eight Boko Haram were killed," he said.
Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria kidnappings  |  abductions
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.