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.

x

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.)

View the interactive timeline

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs