News / Africa

Suspected Boko Haram Kidnap 100 in Northern Nigeria

Boko Haram rebels are suspected of abducting dozens of men and boys in Nigeria. Chibok village schoolgirls who escaped the rebels are shown before meeting with Borno state’s governor in Maiduguri June 2, 2014.
Boko Haram rebels are suspected of abducting dozens of men and boys in Nigeria. Chibok village schoolgirls who escaped the rebels are shown before meeting with Borno state’s governor in Maiduguri June 2, 2014.
Reuters

Suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said Friday.

Boko Haram
 
  • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
  • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
  • Began in 2002 as a non-violent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed thousands since 2010
  • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
  • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law

The kidnappings come four months after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok. They are still missing.

Several witnesses who fled after Sunday's raid on Doron Baga, a sandy fishing village near the shores of Lake Chad, said militants clothed in military and police uniforms had burned several houses and that 97 people were unaccounted for.

"They left no men or boys in the place; only young children, girls and women," said Halima Adamu, sobbing softly and looking exhausted after a road trip of 180 kilometers, or 110 miles, on the back of a truck to Maiduguri, capital of the northeastern state of Borno.

"They were shouting 'Allah Akbar' [God is greatest], shooting sporadically," Adamu said. "There was confusion everywhere. They started parking our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whoever disobey them. Everybody was scared."

The witnesses said six older men also were killed in Sunday's raid, while another five people were wounded.

A proven approach

Boko Haram, seen as the No. 1 security threat to Africa's top economy and oil producer, is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria. Once a grassroots movement, it has rapidly lost popular support as its attacks on civilians dramatically increased in the past year.

Its tactic – forcing boys to fight and abducting girls as sex slaves – serves as a chilling echo of Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. This "army" has operated in the same way in Uganda, South Sudan and central Africa for decades.

The Nigerian military did not respond to a request for comment. A security source said officials were aware of the incident but were still investigating.

United Kingdom, U.S. offer help

“I am appalled to see reports of another large abduction by terrorists in the northeast of Nigeria,” British Minister for Africa James Duddridge said in an emailed statement.

"Officials at the British High Commission in Abuja are urgently looking into the details," the statement continued. "The UK stands firmly with Nigeria as it faces the scourge of Boko Haram."

Britain and the United States have offered help to try to find the missing Chibok girls, but there has been no success yet.

The kidnappers overpowered local vigilantes, villagers said, noting there is no military presence.

Talatu Abubakar, another villager who fled to Maiduguri, said the invaders had taunted the men for being unable to defend themselves: “They were shouting, 'Where is your pride? You people used to be warriors. Today you are all just women, not as brave as we thought.’ ”

Abubakar said 47 people were missing from his Hadeija clan and were feared to have been abducted.

Boko Haram shows agility

The raid shows how mobile Boko Haram units can be.

After a military offensive in May last year broke their hold on the area around Lake Chad in Borno state’s far northeast, the rebels relocated to the state’s south, near the Cameroon border nearly 300 kilometers, or 190 miles, away. Chibok, the village from which the girls were taken, is in this area.

The rebels’ reappearance in the area demonstrates their ability to move across vast swaths of northeastern Nigeria without military interception.

Nigerian forces are overstretched against a determined foe. Security sources say that in the past week, they have fought gun battles with Boko Haram Islamists in two key southern Borno towns: Gwoza and the garrison town of Damboa, which the militants sacked a month ago.     

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Victor from: Lagos
August 15, 2014 5:48 PM
The abduction of youths and young men by the Boko haram sect is an evidence that the sect is losing fighters greatly.The only way to continue this insurgency is to recruit with force young men into their sect.The Nigeria Military is winning the war over the nefarious Boko Haram sect and they should be commended for their garllant sacrifices.

by: Bashir Isah Kankarah. from: Katsina state.
August 15, 2014 11:02 AM
Painfull story,nigerians do we really have a leaders we elected to depend us,what ashame.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 16, 2014 5:26 AM
Don't look the wrong way, Jonathan, weak as he is, is not the army that has been infiltrated with boko haram and has refused to fish out the bad eggs in its rank and file. It's all of you muslims that are causing the trouble in order to blame a weak president. Yes Jonathan is weak, otherwise he should have at least sacked some of the dead woods in the forces that are not performing, thereby showing Nigerian generally as weak and most corrupt under the miscreants, but the onus is with the defense forces that are themselves compromised either for being islamist themselves or for bribe - after all we are among the most corrupt peoples in the whole world - maybe third most corrupt to first most corrupt nation in the world - great, isn't it?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More