Nigeria Islamists still Holding 85 Schoolgirls after Raid - State
April 19, 2014 2:00 PM EST
Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram is still holding 85 girls it abducted from a raid on a secondary school in northeastern Borno state this week, although the other 44 were free, the state government said on Saturday.
Nigerian Military says Most of Abducted Schoolgirls Freed, 8 still Missing (Representational Image)
Monday's mass abduction of schoolgirls aged 15 to 18 by Boko Haram, who are fighting for a breakaway Islamic state in northern Nigeria, shocked Africa's most populous country.
It also underscored just how powerless Nigeria's military is at protecting civilians despite a year-long state of emergency meant to flush the rebels out of three states in the northeast.
The Islamists attacked Chibok school, in remote Borno state, which had 129 girls staying in it, on Monday. Most of them were abducted, although the precise numbers were not clear.
Borno state education commissioner Inuwa Kubo said in a statement late on Saturday that 16 students had managed to flee back home during the night of the attack, while another 28 had escaped after being abducted. The other 85 were still missing.
"We continually pray that all our students return in good health," Kubo said.
The armed forces said on Wednesday that the military had freed all but eight of the schoolgirls in a rescue operation, but it retracted that statement a day later.
Boko Haram's five-year-old struggle is now seen as the main security threat to Africa's leading energy producer.
Kidnapping girls is a tactic Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden", began using early last year. It is eerily reminiscent of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, which abducted thousands of school-aged girls across central Africa to use as forced "wives" for their commanders.
The kidnapping occurred the same day a bomb blast, also blamed on Boko Haram, killed 75 people on the edge of the capital Abuja, the first attack on the capital in two years.
Most Popular Slideshows
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria
Join the Conversation
- 2014 Meteor Shower: Where to Watch Delta Aquarids July 28-29 Peak Online, NASA Cameras Spotted Start of Perseid Meteor Shower
- Viral Wedding Photo: Amy Hicks Reveals True Story behind Viral Photo that Created Trending Hashtag on Twitter #westillcoming
- Six-Year-Old Canada girl Dies after Hit by Sedan in Crowded Store
- UFO Sightings: Mysterious Bright Lights Spotted Flashing over Toronto, Witnesses Share UFO Sighting Experience on Social Media [VIDEO]
- New Zealand-Born IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Attack Amid Ceasefire Promises
- Google Nexus 6, 8 with Android L on Release Date Promises Killer Mobile Device Experience
- iPhone 6 Release Date Relevance to iOS Newbies: Specs Meaning, Price Considerations
- Killer Whales Gobble Japanese Whaling Crew
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- 12-inch MacBook Apple Retina and 2014 MacBook Pro to Feature Liquid Sensors, Release in October
- The Pirate Bay Releases ‘The Mobile Bay’: Mobile Torrent Download Made Easier but Remains Illegal
- 5 Marketing Nuggets We Can All Learn From Lady Gaga