Boko Haram Kidnaps 16 Women and Girls in Nigeria

A woman walking in Maiduguri camp, Nigeria A woman walking in Maiduguri camp, Nigeria © Reuters

24 March 2016
Boko Haram kidnaps 14 women and two girls in Adamawa state, while Nigerian troops rescued 800 hostages in neighbouring Borno state.

Boko Haram gunmen abducted 14 women and two girls in Nigeria’s North-Eastern state of Adamawa. The abduction took place on Wednesday, 23 March, while Nigerian troops were in the neighbouring Borno state rescuing over 800 hostages taken from Boko Haram.

Locals reported that the women and girls were taken while fetching firewood and fishing in a river near Sabon Garin Madagali village. The women and girls were escorted by two civilian vigilantes to protect them from Islamist insurgents. Madagali resident Garba Barnabas said that “when the civilian vigilantes escorting the women saw the heavily armed Boko Haram fighters advancing on them they fled, leaving the women to their fate.” Two women managed to escape by pretending to drown in the river, and later returned to the village to raise the alarm.

Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar said that they received report of the kidnaping, and “sent search teams to the area and have notified the military who have also deployed personnel for search and rescue operation in the bush to free the hostages.”

Boko Haram began an insurgency in 2009, killing at least 17,000 people and causing 2.6 million people to flee their homes because of the violence. Nearly two years ago, more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnaped from the town of Chibok in Borno state. The Nigerian army rescued over 800 hostages in Borno state on Tuesday, and have recaptured territory from Boko Haram since last year, resulting in many internally displaced persons returning to their homes. Adamu Kamale, from Nigeria’s House of Representatives said that “since people returned to their homes we have been experiencing attacks by Boko Haram despite claims that security has been restored. The abduction shows that more security needs to be deployed to protect the people from attacks and abductions.”

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