Suspected Islamist Boko Haram rebels captured numbers of young men and boys in a strike on a small community
in northeast Nigeria, piling them into trucks, and moving them away, said Friday the witnesses who fled the attack.
The abduction comes four months after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok. They ‘re all missing, though.
Several witnesses who had escaped after Sunday’s attack on Doron Baga, a pebbly fishing village near the banks of lake Chad, said that gunmen wearing military and police uniforms had burned several houses and that 97 people had not been counted.
“They left no men or boys in the place, only young children, girls and women,” Halimae said. Adamu, sobbing softly and looking tired after a road ride of 180 kilometers, or 110 miles,on the back of a truck to Maiduguri, the capital of the north-eastern state of Borno.
“They were shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ [God is the greatest], sporadically firing,” Adamu said.
“There was confusion everywhere. They started parking our men and boys in their vehicles, threatening to shoot anyone who disobeyed them. Everyone was scared.” The witnesses said that six older men were killed on Sunday’s raid, while five others were injured.
Boko Haram ‘s proven approach, seen as the No. 1 security threat to Africa’s top economy and oil producer, is struggling to reintroduce the medieval Islamic caliphate. Religiously mixed Nigeria. Once a mass movement, it has steadily lost mainstream support as its attacks on civilians have significantly escalated over the past year.
The methods – pressuring boys to fight and abduct girls as sex slaves – The methods – pressuring boys to fight and abduct girls as sex slaves – This “army” has been working in the same way in Somalia, South Sudan and Central Africa for decades.
The Nigerian army did not respond to a request for comments. A security source said the authorities were aware of the incident but were still reviewing it.
United Kingdom, U.S. offer assistance
“I am appalled to see reports of another major kidnapping of terrorists in the north-east of Nigeria, “said British Africa Minister James Duddridge in an e-mailed statement.
“Officials at the British High Commission in Abuja are looking into details as a matter of urgency,” the statement continued. “The United Kingdom stands firm with Nigeria as it faces the scourge of Boko Haram.”
Britain and the United States have offered help trying to find the missing Chibok girls, but they haven’t been successful yet.
The kidnappers overpowered local vigilantes, the villagers said, noting that there was no military presence.
Talatu Abubakar, another villager who had fled to Maiduguri, said the invaders had taunted the men for not being able to defend themselves: “They were shouting, ‘Where is your pride? You guys used to be warriors. You are all women today, not as brave as we thought you were.
Abubakar said 47 people were missing from his Hadeija clan and feared to be abducted.
Boko Haram is exhibiting toughness
The raid reveals how mobile Boko Haram units could be.
After a military offensive in May last year broke hold of the area around Lake Chad in the far northeast of Borno State, the rebels moved to the south of the state, near the border of Cameroon, almost 300 kilometers or 190 miles away. Chibok, the village from which the girls were taken, is located in this area.
The reappearance of the rebels in the region shows their willingness to travel through large swaths of north-eastern Nigeria without military intervention.
Nigerian forces are overstretched against a determined enemy. Security sources report that in the past week, two major southern Borno cities have fought gun battles against Boko Haram Islamists: Gwoza and the garrison town of Damboa, which millitant sacked months ago.