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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs