Search for Kidnapped School Girls Extends to Cameroon, Chad Borders
The Nigerian military has begun a deployment of soldiers along the country’s northern borders as part of efforts to rescue schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect on Monday night at Government Girls Secondary school, Chibok, Borno State.
It was gathered on Friday that the troops were deployed in the borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with the largest concentration along the Cameroonian area.
A top military source who pleaded anonymity said that the military was concentrating on the borders because members of the sect might want to sneak the schoolgirls out of Nigeria.
The source said, “There has been a large movement of troops along Nigerian borders. Soldiers are being conveyed in buses as part of efforts to rescue the girls.
“The information we have is that the kidnappers are still within Nigeria, especially within the Sambisa terrain, hence the deployment of more troops at borders to prevent their escape to neighbouring countries.”
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed the deployment, adding that soldiers were still in pursuit of those holding the schoolgirls.
‘The deployment is part of the entire operation; it is part of the general operation there. Soldiers are still in pursuit of those who are holding them,” he said
He declined to make further comments.
No fewer than 129 girls were kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary school, Chibok, Borno State.
A day after the attack, 14 of the girls escaped when one of the lorries in which they were being conveyed broke down. On Friday, another 14 escaped from their abductors, close to a Cameroon border, leaving 85 in the custody of the sect.
It was further learnt that when the girls were abducted, the sect ambushed security forces that were chasing them, killing a soldier in the process.
Another top security said the sect might have divided the girls into different groups and separated them to make it impossible to get all the girls in one place.
He said, “The soldiers that were going to intervene were ambushed on the way. One soldier died in the ambush; soldiers fought through the ambush and continued their movement but they were delayed. The planners were meticulous; they planned for intervention.
“We have an intelligence report that it might be difficult to retrieve all the girls in one group; they (the sect) have divided the girls into small groups, which will make it difficult to get them all in one spot.”
One of the girls who escaped was said to have disclosed that the sect members did not harass them sexually.
The security source, who confided in our correspondent, quoted the girl to have said, “They didn’t mess us up, but they (the sect members) told us to cook food for them. We also have a report that they have not reached their destination.”
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