Tuesday, April 29, 2014

kidnapped school girls believed to have been taken out of Nigeria

Some of the schoolgirls abducted by suspected militant Islamists in northern Nigeria are believed to have been taken to neighbouring states, a local leader has told the BBC.

Pogo Bitrus said there had been "sightings" of gunmen crossing with the girls into Cameroon and Chad.

Some of the girls had been forced to marry the militants, he added.

Mr Bitrus said 230 girls were missing since militants attacked the school in Chibok, Borno state, two weeks ago.

The Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for the night-time raid on the school hostel in Chibok town. It has not yet commented.

Mr Bitrus, a Chibok community leader, said 43 of the girls had "regained their freedom" after escaping, while 230 were still in captivity. This is a higher number than previous estimates, however he was adamant it was the correct figure.

"Some of them have been taken across Lake Chad and some have been ferried across the border into parts of Cameroon," he told the BBC.

"And then we got this information that the captors went and auctioned these girls into marriage for a bride price," he added.

The students were about to sit their final year exam and so are mostly aged 16-18.

Boko Haram has staged a wave of attacks in northern Nigeria in recent years, with an estimated 1,500 killed this year alone.


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