Nigeria kidnappings: Boko Haram suspected to have abducted over 60 people

The kidnapping comes after the extremist group kidnapped 200 girls and young women in April

Over 60 people have been abducted in Nigeria by suspected militant Islamists. According to local residents, 60 girls and women and 31 boys from villages in northeast Nigeria have been taken.

It is suspected that the militants are Boko Haram, the same group that abducted 200 girls and young women in April.

The recent abductions took place during a series of raids in Borno over the past week, with dozens of people killed from the attacks. The survivors from various villages are now taking refuge in Adamawa, with others still fleeing on foot.  A senior local authority officer in the Damboa area, close to Maiduguri the capital of Borno, told AFP news that more than 60 women and girls had been “hijacked and forcefully taken away”. Local residents dispute the numbers given by the unnamed officer, arguing that the number is in fact closer to 90.

The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram group, Aji KHalil said that Boko Haram militants also took about 30. “Some suspected Boko Haram members invaded … and kidnapped 91 persons. More than 60 married women and young girls as well as children, young men were forcefully taken away by Boko Haram terrorists. Four villagers who tried to escape were shot dead on the spot.”

Boko Haram are still holding more than 200 girls and young women captured in Chibok town, an area close to Damboa, on 14 April. In exchange for the return of the girls, the Islamic militants are demanding the release of its detained fighters and relatives, which has since been rejected by the Nigerian President Goodluck. The Nigeria military have said that they have knowledge of where the 200 taken girls from April are, but they say it would be too dangerous to attempt to rescue them. It is not known whether this is still true in light of the recent abductions in Damboa.

Local fear of Boko Haram continues to grow as rumours surrounding plans of another mass abduction spread with international tensions growing as the Nigerian government appear to do nothing.