Posted by News Express | 18 December 2014 | 3,174 times
Boko Haram militants have reportedly abducted over 200 people, including several women, from Bintiri village in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state.
“The militants invaded the village and took around 200 people, including women and able-bodied men,” Jubrin Gunda, a spokesman for the civilian Joint Task Force, an influential local vigilante group, told Anadolu Agency by phone on Thursday.
He said the incident had been reported to the provincial security authorities.
“[Forced] conscription of men is clearly a desperate bid by the militants to shore up their fighting force, which we know has been depleted in recent months,” said Gunda.
Another report, this time by Reuters, speaks of gunmen suspected to be insurgents killing 33 and kidnapping about 100 people Gumsuri Village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno.
The attack was said to have occurred last Friday, but the news made its way out after some of the survivors made their way to Maiduguri, the State capital.
Those kidnapped are said to be mostly women and children
Maina Chibok, who did not witness the attack but is from Gumsuri and visited family there shortly afterwards, told Reuters that the insurgents came in pick-up trucks and sprayed the town with bullets from AK-47s and machine guns.
“They gathered the people, shot dead over 30 people and took away more than 100 women and children in two open-top trucks,” Chibok said. Burials of many of the victims had already happened, he added.
News from remote parts of Nigeria that are cut off from mobile communications sometimes takes days to emerge.
A security source confirmed that more than 100 had been abducted and said 35 people had been killed, including the district head.
“They also burnt down a government medical centre, houses and shops,” Chibok said.
A youth vigilante from the area called Aliyu Mamman also told Reuters by telephone that there was no security presence to stop the militants, who stayed in the town all night before leaving.
More than 200 schoolgirls remain in the hands of Boko Haram since they were abducted from their dormitories in Borno State’s town of Chibok in mid-April.
Nigeria continues to battle a five-year insurgency in the country’s volatile northeast.
An emboldened Boko Haram recently stepped up its militant activity, seizing several areas across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – the three states worst hit by the insurgency – declaring captured territories to be part of a self-styled “Islamic caliphate.”
The group has also recently resorted to using suicide bombers and planting explosives.
In November alone, Nigerian Security Tracker, an NGO, estimated that more than 200 people had been killed in suicide attacks and bombings – all linked to Boko Haram – across the country’s north.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima recently said that, this year alone, more than 3,000 people had been killed and over two million displaced in Borno due to the insurgency.
•Photo courtesy of Anadolu Agency shows Boko Haram insurgents.
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