Nigeria kidnapping: 60 girls and women, 31 boys said to be abducted

Los Angeles Times: by Robyn Dixon —-
Islamic extremists in Nigeria reportedly kidnapped 60 more girls and women along with 31 boys
More than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls are still being held by Boko Haram two months after their kidnapping

Local media reported about 60 people were abducted in attacks on villages south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, between Thursday and Saturday.

The attack comes as more than 270 schoolgirls are still being held by Boko Haram more than two months after their abductions from a school in Chibok town in April. Several dozen of the girls managed to escape.

About 30 people were reported to have been killed by the extremists in the latest attack. Elderly residents fled their homes, trekking 15 miles to seek help.

Among those abducted by gunmen were women with young children and babies – a common occurrence in Borno state since last year, Nigeria’s Premium Times reported.

Nigeria has also seen bomb attacks on soccer fans watching World Cup soccer matches at public soccer viewing venues, which have been blamed on Boko Haram.

Last week’s attacks were on Kummabza, Yaga and Dagu, in the Damboa local government area, according to witnesses cited in local media reports.

Nigerian local and federal government officials and police haven’t confirmed the reports. But Premium Times quoted an unnamed federal security official who confirmed the abductions took place, while a village councilor confirmed the kidnappings to Associated Press.

Attacks on villages in northeastern Nigeria have been occurring almost daily, with Nigeria’s army seemingly incapable of enforcing security in vast swaths of the country.

But Nigerian authorities appear to lack the will or capacity to overcome the security crisis. Boko Haram has demanded the release of prisoners in return for surrendering the Chibok girls but Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has ruled out negotiating with terrorists. Military commanders have said a military-style rescue is impractical because it would result in the deaths of many of the hostages.

Given the deadlock, Nigerians are questioning how the girls will be released.

Obasanjo said the government should have acted immediately after the girls were taken in order to secure their release.

Nigeria’s military have been strongly criticized for failing to intervene to protect villages under attack and for failing to take steps to recover the missing girls.

Nigerian authorities have accused activists who have been campaigning for the girls’ release under the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls of being aligned with Nigeria’s opposition, and acting out of political motives, claims the activists have denied.

Origional Post here:   http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-nigeria-kidnapping-20140624-story.html

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