Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap 172 women, children

2014-12-19 07:09

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have kidnapped 172 women and children and killed 35 other people during a raid on the northeast Nigerian village of Gumsuri, residents said yesterday.

Although no one has claimed responsibility, the attack, which happened on Sunday, bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 women in April from a secondary school in Chibok, only 24km from this latest attack.

The campaign for an Islamic state by Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sinful”, has become the gravest threat to Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer.

Village resident Abba Musa, a maize grinder who survived the attack, estimated the number abducted as 172 after the village did a head count following the assault.

The attackers shouted “God is Great” and unleashed salvos of gunfire, he said.

“My sister and her seven children were among those taken away,” he said.

“We ran into the bush and were lucky. There were not many others who were lucky.”

He said at least 33 were killed.

Thousands of people have been killed and many hundreds abducted, raising questions about the ability of security forces to protect civilians, especially around the north Cameroon border where the militants are well established.

“The government is outraged and deeply saddened by this deplorable act,” government spokesperson Mike Omeri said.

“Boko Haram continues to choose, ever cowardly, to target civilian populations to spread their brand of terror.”

He estimated deaths at 17 but said the numbers abducted could not yet be reliably ascertained.

Maina Chibok, who did not witness the attack but is from Gumsuri and visited family there shortly afterwards, said the insurgents carted away their victims on open-topped trucks.

News from remote parts of Nigeria that are cut off from mobile communications sometimes takes days to emerge.

A security source confirmed that more than 100 had been abducted and 35 people killed, including the district head.

“They also burnt down a government medical centre, houses and shops,” Chibok said.

The abductions have increased in frequency this year. A man who says he is Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau last month rejected comments by the government that it was in talks to free the Chibok girls, saying he had in fact “married them off” to Boko Haram commanders, in a video posted on the internet.

Aliyu Mamman, a young vigilante from the area, said that there was no security presence to stop the militants, who stayed in the town all night before leaving.

Nigeria sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny in the northeast on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Cameroon’s army killed 116 Boko Haram militants when they attacked a base in the Far North region of the country, the Defence Ministry said yesterday.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.