News / Africa

Authorities: 276 Kidnapped Girls Still Missing in Nigeria

Four female students of government secondary school Chibok, who were abducted by gunmen and reunited with their families walk in Chibok, Nigeria, April 21, 2014.
Four female students of government secondary school Chibok, who were abducted by gunmen and reunited with their families walk in Chibok, Nigeria, April 21, 2014.
VOA News
Authorities in northern Nigeria say 276 teenage girls abducted from a school last month are still unaccounted for.

Borno state police and intelligence officials raised their estimate of the missing late Thursday after complaints from parents who said earlier numbers were too low.

Police commissioner Tanko Lawan said it was "really difficult" to say how many girls were actually missing because students from other schools were at the site that day to take final exams.

The mass abduction took place on April 15, after suspected Islamist militants attacked the town of Chibok.

Lawan said 53 of the abducted girls have escaped.

A state security official, Ahmed Abdullahi, said the number of girls known to have been kidnapped may continue to change as parents from neighboring villages come forward and report their daughters as missing. He said "it is not the number that matters because all the girls are very important."

Relatives and supporters of the missing girls are using social media sites to raise international awareness of their plight.

On Twitter, some used the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls to voice frustration over what they view as a slow response from Nigerian security forces.  Some have called for President Goodluck Jonathan's resignation.

Advocates are also using social media to publicize overseas rallies in support of the girls.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Nigerians held protests in Abuja and elsewhere to demand that the government do more to find and rescue the schoolgirls.

Initial reports said the girls had been taken into the massive Sambisa forest.  Reports this week said some of the students have been forced into so-called marriages with their captors or taken to other locations.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack and kidnappings. However, the assault is similar to others carried out by Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group that has been active in the region.

Borno is one of three states where the government declared a state of emergency last May. Nigeria's military has launched operations meant to crush Boko Haram, but large-scale attacks have continued.

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Comment Sorting
by: CB from: NY, NY
May 03, 2014 7:56 PM
Praying ..will get the scoop, share whats happening and pray.
!! Sounds like there is no MEN in NIGERIA.No way if there was an actual MAN in NIGERIA these other men would NOT get away with this Kidnapping.
NEWS FLASH ....ALL MALES HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY OF NIGERIA...IF actual MAN in NIGERIA these other men would NOT get away with this Kidnapping

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 03, 2014 11:00 AM
When Nigerians and others submit their comments concerning published articles and VOA hides behind any disguise to void publishing the comments, I wonder what VOA would like to see people write in these commentary boxes - only praises for a government that has refused to show concern for the plight of the kidnapped children and their parents? A praise of boko haram for the crime? Or to say that VOA is aiding and abating it all - both on the side of the government which has inadvertently or inadvertently created the situation; the government that is looking at politics and politicking when lives of citizens are at stake? Or the political opponents who have vowed to rubbish the Jonathan's administration and have gone mad with vendetta, killing, bombing, unleashing terror, maiming and kidnapping thereby showing themselves unsuitable for any purpose of leadership? Truly speaking, VOA is not a friend at all. It simply goes to spell out to say VOA IS ANTI-PEOPLE for failing to air the views of aggrieved persons under situation it may have been forced to publish or carry on its website. BETTER NOT PUBLISH THAN REFUSE TO SHOW THE VIEWS AND/OR REACTIONS OF READERS.
In Response

by: Iyk from: Germany
May 04, 2014 5:46 AM
It's a shame been outside Nigeria and watch even the Europeans asking me questions if really Nigeria is having a Government? The old politicians who are behind this crimes only to tarnish the image of the current regime of president Goodluck's a the holy Bible Roman 13:1-14.made me to understand that leaders and rulers are God?'s minister.Government is to secure and protect the could over 200 Nigerian girls be missing?where are the Nigerian police?where are the Nigerian Government?if the islamic millitant groups Boko haram are behind all this terror taking place in Nigeria,i think it's high time we all Nigerians have to back up our president Goodluck Jonathan and support him for his regime.The so called Boko haram are nuisance and touts,there is no time this group of people can be more stronger and powerful than the Government and his good's time every Nigergans have to stand firm and say no to terrors and crimes in Nigeria.because with this kind of present crimes in Nigeria today e.g. Bombing, Killing, Kidnapping e.t.c. Is the beginning of the End of Nigeria as a nation.

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