News / Africa

    More Than 60 Kidnapped Women Escape in Nigeria

    Heather Murdock

    Authorities in Nigeria say more than 60 women kidnapped in mid-June escaped during the weekend from their presumed Boko Haram captors.  But hundreds of other girls kidnapped in April remain missing.  Women and girls were kidnapped when Boko Haram attacked the village of Kummabza in northern Borno state.

    The escape of the kidnapped women is one bright spot, but hundreds of other girls kidnapped in April remain missing.  And it appears the five-year-old Boko Haram insurgency is getting deadlier and more far reaching.

    A vigilante fighting Boko Haram, Abbas Gava, said the captives fled Friday after militants left their camp to attack a military barracks and police station in the town of Damboa.

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    A high-level security source in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, said about half the women have returned to their homes, while the others were in the custody of soldiers in the town of Gulak.

    Following the arrest of three women last week, Nigerian security forces said they were tracking a "female wing" of Boko Haram.
     
    Tony Mezeh, who is a lawyer, said,  "Right now in Nigeria the security situation is worsening and we are beginning to see the militants are women.  They co-opt women in.  They employ children, youths.  So we do not know who is who."
     
    He said usually confined to the northeast, the insurgency was also spreading geographically.

    Since April, three bombs have killed more than 100 people in the Nigerian capital.  Two of the attacks were in a bus station, and the third at a mall in a wealthy central neighborhood.
     
    Boko Haram militants claimed responsibility for the first bus station bombing in late April, as well as abducting more than 200 schoolgirls, who remain missing.
     
    General supervisor Dandison Nwankwa of the Izu Chukwu bus company in the oil-rich Niger Delta, said if militants ccould strike in the heart of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, he feared they may seek to attack the Niger Delta, the heart of the country's economy.
     
    "We have put in place measures in our own internal security system to avert all these incidents happening in other places," said Nwankwa.

    He said his company required every bus passenger to be searched before boarding and homeless people were no longer allowed to sleep in the bus station.
     
    "Without searching, all the passengers will not be allowed to enter the vehicle until the vehicle decides to move, so that somebody will not infiltrate something inside the bus," said Nwankwa.
     
    Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in five years of attacks.  The group says it wants to impose its own harsh version of Islamic law, but most of its victims have been Muslims.  
     
    Lawyer Mezeh said churches have also been frequent targets, and many churches recently imposed bans on handbags, as part of non-government efforts to fight the insurgency.
     
    "These measures that women should not carry bags to churches, people should not be allowed to sleep in motor-parks, people should not be allowed to sleep in [un]completed buildings.  They are all pro-active measures to ensure that we do not allow these hoodlums to mill around us," he said.
     
    Nigeria is Africa's largest oil exporter, an industry that earns most of the country's national budget.  Boko Haram has never attacked oil-producing regions in the south, but it has threatened to.
     
    Boko Haram frequently carries out the terror it promises, but it has also made unrealistic threats, including against foreign heads-of-state, both living and dead.  

    (Hilary Uguru contributed to this report from the Niger Delta and Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri.)

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Laurie Corvillion from: United States of America
    July 09, 2014 9:45 AM
    I like Earths idea of calling these terrorists different misspelled variations. What I would like to call them can't be printed. Here's my first one; Boohoo Mental, Booger Hawkers, and of course; Bad People Dead, including the woman that help these groups.

    by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
    July 07, 2014 2:00 PM
    Save the girls of Nigeria

    by: The O
    July 07, 2014 11:42 AM
    and they're all coming to America
    In Response

    by: Connie from: NY
    July 07, 2014 1:39 PM
    Just as all the Europeans did more than 400 years ago.

    by: Christy Song from: nigeria
    July 07, 2014 9:37 AM
    I do not know why the so called boko arham is been put on headline news since it will make them important.As for me nothing about them should be mention for they do not exist any more.they have become extinct.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 07, 2014 11:44 PM
    That would be correct! If the media truly cared, then they would continually misspell Boko Haram! Book Harm, Bobo Hagum, anything! These diseases around the world love the attention, and it does embolden them!

    by: Dr. Evan Canbert from: Czech Republic
    July 07, 2014 8:58 AM
    Oh, but THESE aren't REAL muslims. These are FUNDAMENTALIST muslims. Real Islam, of course, is a religion of peace... right?

    by: Laurie Corvillion from: Chicago ILLinois
    July 07, 2014 8:53 AM
    I am still waiting for the freedom of the girls taken in April. Have the government's that sent rescue squads given up? These people are dangerous, (Boko Haram )and need to be dealt with. The only thing that the girls are good for, in their captives eyes, is breeding. Stop the problem before it begins.

    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 12:20 AM
    They kidnapped these babies because they cannot get a woman of their own. They aren't men, just animals. I think Goodluck Jonathan got his choice from the kidnapped girls! Other than that, he should have led the charge against this disease called Boko Haram! He hasn't done not even a drop of what he should be doing to annihilate these animals and get back as many girls as possible!!!! Jonathan has denied extreme US intervention that oucld eliminate this evil in just one day! Why not Mr Goodluck? Afraid of any of the girls getting harmed or killed? Have you lost your mind! What they are going through right now, because of your inabilities, is worse than death!!!!!

    by: Point from: India
    July 07, 2014 8:48 AM
    Was it really necessary to reveal the vigilante's name?
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 07, 2014 11:09 PM
    That's right Peter! Abbas Gava is obviously telling the rest of the Nigerians to STAND UP AND FIGHT THIS DISEASE!!!!
    In Response

    by: Peter from: Uk
    July 07, 2014 9:19 AM
    Abbas Gava makes no secret of his name, why should VOA?

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