Dozens ′abducted′ by Islamist extremists in Nigeria | News | DW | 24.06.2014
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Dozens 'abducted' by Islamist extremists in Nigeria

Up to a hundred people are reported to have been seized by Islamist extremists in Nigeria. It's the latest incident in a spate of near-daily attacks linked to Boko Haram militants.

It's reported Nigerian security forces were investigating the possible mass kidnapping of villagers in the northeastern state of Borno, believed to have happened on Saturday.

Suspected Islamist insurgents are said to have raided at least three villages 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the state capital, Maiduguri.

News agencies quoted witnesses who said around 60 girls and women, and over 30 boys were seized in this latest attack which had been linked to Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Two residents from a neighboring village told Reuters they had spoken to people who reportedly fled as militants killed men and kidnapped "many" women and children.

Boko Haram campaign of terror

Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates as "Western education is sinful," has killed thousands since 2009.

Amnesty International estimated around 1,500 people alone were killed in northeast Nigeria in the first three months of this year.

The Islamist militants initially focused on government and security targets, as well as churches and Muslim leaders that rejected their beliefs.

However, in recent months, the extremists had increasingly targeted civilians, sparking worldwide publicity after they kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in the village of Chibok in April.

The case not only caused international outrage, but also sparked a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign supported by celebrities, politicians and on social media.

Nigeria's government and military were widely criticized for their slow response to the April abductions.

lw/ng (AP, Reuters)

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