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Boko Haram 'kidnaps more girls'

October 23, 2014

According to reports from Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped dozens of women and girls. The events throw further doubt on talks supposed to result in the freedom of 200 other young women taken in April.

Nigeria Boko Haram soll offenbar entführte Mädchen freilassen
Image: Reuters/A. Sotunde

According to media reports, Boko Haram militants have kidnapped girls and women in new attacks in Nigeria's northeast.

The Reuters news agency interviewed residents in a town in Adamawa state, where at least 25 girls were taken. Parents who lost their children said the kidnappers came late in the night, forcing all the women to go with them and then later releasing the older ones.

Nigeria's The Punch news website reported that dozens of women and girls were taken from two villages on Saturday by suspected members of Boko Haram.

The incidents throw doubt on a week-old ceasefire the government annonced it had arranged with Boko Haram - which includes the release of 219 schoolgirls abducted last April, sparking international outrage and the global movement Bring Back Our Girls.

Boko Haram, whose name loosely translates to "Western education is sacrilege," has demanded the release of detainees in exchange for the hostages.

There is still no sign of the girls' being freed, although talks to secure their release are believed to be taking place this week in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena.

The reports come after five separate attacks last Saturday, followed by an explosion at a bus stop in northern Nigeria on Wednesday that killed at least five - with Boko Haram the likely suspect.

Analysts say that it is possible a truce has been reached with one Boko Haram faction while others carry on with violence.

Since a bloody government crackdown in 2009, Boko Haram has led a broad insurgency that has been characterized by a brutal campaign of bombings and shootings targeting Christian churches, Muslim mosques, schools, markets, bars, villages, police stations and a UN building.

An estimated 5,000 Nigerians have been killed and a further 300,000 displaced by the violence.

jr/mkg (Reuters, dpa)