Boko Haram kidnaps 16 women in NE Nigeria: police

Kano - Boko Haram gunmen have abducted 16 women in a remote area of northeast Nigeria's Adamawa state, police, a lawmaker and locals told AFP on Thursday.

"We received report of the kidnap of 14 women and two girls by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram insurgents near Sabon Garin Madagali village", said Adamawa state police spokesperson Othman Abubakar.

"We have sent search teams to the area and have notified the military who have also deployed personnel for search and rescue operation in the bush to free the hostages."

Adamu Kamale, who represents the area in Nigeria's lower chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives, also confirmed the abduction, which happened on Wednesday.

Locals said the hostages were seized in the bush while fetching firewood and fishing in a nearby river under the escort of two civilian vigilantes assisting the military against the Islamist insurgents.

"When the civilian vigilantes escorting the women saw the heavily armed Boko Haram fighters advancing on them they fled, leaving the women to their fate," said Madagali resident Garba Barnabas.

Two women who escaped by jumping into the river and pretending to have drowned later returned to the village to raise the alarm, he added.

Madagali district, which lies on the border with Borno state, has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram during its nearly seven-year insurgency, which has left more than 17 000 people dead.

Human rights groups have said fighters have kidnapped thousands of women and young girls, including more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted from the Borno town of Chibok nearly two years ago.

The insurgents temporarily seized Madagali district and parts of Adamawa as well as large swathes of territory in Borno and Yobe state in 2014, as they sought to establish a hardline Islamic state.

More than 2.6 million people have fled their homes since the start of the violence but as troops began a fight-back last year and recaptured territory, some of the internally displaced have returned home.

Sporadic hit-and-run attacks have continued however, as well as suicide bombings.

"Since people returned to their homes we have been experiencing attacks by Boko Haram despite claims that security has been restored", said Kamale.

"The abduction shows that more security needs to be deployed to protect the people from attacks and abductions."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
32% - 1882 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 2216 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 1745 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.51
+1.7%
Rand - Pound
19.88
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.83
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.77
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,767.60
0.0%
Silver
23.31
0.0%
Palladium
2,075.53
0.0%
Platinum
1,059.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
84.86
+1.0%
Top 40
60,494
+0.2%
All Share
67,029
+0.3%
Resource 10
64,347
-0.1%
Industrial 25
84,819
+0.7%
Financial 15
13,961
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE