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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    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?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora