Boko Haram abducts 22 girls, women in northeast Nigeria

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Boko Haram Takfiri terror group has kidnapped nearly two dozen girls and women in two separate attacks in northeast Nigeria as fears grow of more such raids amid the Nigerian military’s failure to contain the Daesh-linked militancy.

Boko Haram Takfiri group have abducted 22 girls and women in two separate raids in north-east Nigeria, residents and vigilantes said.

In the first attack on Thursday, the Takfiris raided the village of Pulka near the border with Cameroon where they kidnapped 18 girls.

“Boko Haram militants from Mamman Nur camp arrived in pickup vans around 6am and seized 14 young girls aged 17 and below while residents fled into the bush,” a Pulka community leader said.

“They picked four other girls who were fleeing the raid they came across in the bush outside the village,” said the community leader who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

According to the official, the attackers were loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf. Barnawi was appointed last year by Daesh (ISIS) to replace leader Abubakar Shekau, who had pledged allegiance to the Takfiri group in 2015.

Another resident confirmed the raid and said the girls were likely to end up as brides for the militants. “They didn’t harm anyone during the raid and they made no attempt to shoot people running away from the village,” said the resident.

In the second incident outside the village of Dumba, close to Lake Chad, the Takfiris killed a herdsman who had tried to escape after refusing to pay protection money, said Adamu Ahmed, a member of an anti-Boko Haram militia.

“When the Boko Haram gunmen came for the money they realized he had left with everything and they decided to go after him on their motorcycles,” Ahmed said. “They caught up with him near Dumba where they slaughtered him and shot dead 50 of his cattle.

“They took four women from the man’s family and the rest of the herd,” he said.

The promotion of Barnawi revealed divisions in the group, as Shekau had been criticised for mass killings and suicide attacks against civilians.

Barnawi and his right-hand man Mamman Nur, who is seen as the real leader, had promised residents in areas under their control would not be harmed as long as they did not cooperate with Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram. But in recent weeks the Takfiri militants have intensified raids in areas near Lake Chad, stealing food from residents.

They have also killed several civilians they accused of cooperating with the military.

Nigeria has been at war with Boko Haram since the group launched militancy in Borno State about eight years ago. More than 20,000 people have been killed while the violence has displaced over 2.7 million others.

The group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has been wreaking havoc in the Middle East and North Africa over the past few years.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 with a pledge to eradicate Boko Haram, claims to have prevailed over Boko Haram’s militancy; however, frequent deadly attacks in the West African country prove the opposite.

The failure against Boko Haram comes as the Nigerian military is being backed by troops from affected neighboring countries such as Chad and Cameroon in its operations against the terror group.

Buhari is also under criticism over economic hardships, high cost of living and poor government handling of the economic crisis in the country.

UN urges renewed anti-Boko Haram efforts

In another development, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Friday, calling for enhanced efforts to quash the Boko Haram militancy, which has led to a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

The 15-member body expressed “grave concern at the ongoing terrorist attacks” by the Takfiri group and “the dire humanitarian situation across the region caused by the activities of Boko Haram.”

Reports indicate that the current humanitarian response is insufficient in Nigeria amid extreme levels of food insecurity.

In December last year, the UN children’s fund reported that around 400,000 children in Nigeria were at the risk of famine, adding that 80,000 of the kids could die from hunger within months.

The council also urged greater support aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the multinational UN peacekeeping troops in the fight against terrorists in the region.

During the past several months, Boko Haram has resorted to carrying out sporadic raids against villages and bomb attacks against civilians in urban areas, killing hundreds of people.

Last week, the Takfiri group raided a village in Borno State and killed three civilians on suspicion of collaborating with the Nigerian military.

Nigerians have been suffering after a fall in oil prices since mid-2014 slashed government revenue. The developments have pushed up inflation to more than 20 percent and weakened the naira currency.



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