Abducted Girls In Borno Still Missing, Parents Say
The where about of the 129 female students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State still remains a mystery as parents of the girls have said they still missing.
The Nigerian military in a statement yesterday said 121 of the 129 abducted girls have escaped, leaving 8 of them still in the custody of their captors, but information available indicates a sharp contrast to the statement of the military. This information according to the BBC includes claims of parents of pupils at the school. They insist “many” of their children are still missing.
The air force, army, police, local defence units and volunteers have all been involved in the search for the schoolgirls.
Gunmen reportedly arrived at the school in Chibok, a remote area of Borno state, late on Tuesday, and ordered its teenage residents on to lorries.
A local politician said about 50 soldiers had been stationed near the school ahead of annual exams, but were apparently overpowered.
Local residents reported hearing explosions followed by gunfire.
“Many girls were abducted by the rampaging gunmen who stormed the school in a convoy of vehicles,” local education official Emmanuel Sam told the AFP news agency.
A girl who managed to escape and did not want to be named told the BBC that she and fellow students were sleeping when armed men burst into their hostel.
The girl said she and her schoolmates were taken away in a convoy, which had to slow down after some of the vehicles developed a fault, at which point 10 to 15 girls escaped.
“We ran into the bush and waited until daybreak before we went back home,” she said.
There were reports that two members of the security forces had been killed, and residents said 170 houses were burnt down during the attack.
The militants know the terrain well and the military has had only limited success in previous efforts to dislodge them from their forest hide-outs.
Militants from Boko Haram – which means “Western education is forbidden” in the local Hausa language – frequently target educational institutions.
This year, the group’s fighters have killed more than 1,500 civilians in three states in north-east Nigeria, which are currently under emergency rule.
The government recently said that Boko Haram’s activities were confined to that part of the country. However, bombings blamed on the group killed more than 70 people in the capital city of Abuja on Monday.
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