Boko Haram reportedly claims Nigeria girls abduction

By Rafiu Ajakaye, Monday, May 05, 2014

The girls were abducted on April 14 from the Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State

The girls were abducted on April 14 from the Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State

LAGOS – Nigeria's Boko Haram militant group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the abduction of scores of schoolgirls three weeks ago in the restive northern state of Borno, according to local media.

Sahara Reporters, a trusted Nigerian news portal, said the video had been released to a number of journalists.

"I am the one that abducted them... And more attacks will follow," it quoted Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau as saying.

The Premium Times, another Nigerian news portal, also said Shekau had claimed the girls abduction in a new video.

On April 14, militants stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State's Chibok, located on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest, a known Boko Haram hideout.

They loaded scores of the schoolgirls onto trucks before driving away unhindered.

Three weeks later, the exact number of the missing schoolgirls remains dogged by controversy.

While local authorities say 129 girls went missing that night, some parents put the total as high as 234.

Going by official figures, 73 remain missing until now.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan admitted late Sunday that his government did not know the abducted schoolgirls' whereabouts.

He said the government was not negotiating with any individuals or groups for the schoolgirls' release.

"We are not negotiating with anybody because there is nobody to negotiate with," he said.

"We cannot negotiate with anyone who has not come to the table," he added. "So the issue of negotiations has not come up."

More than 1500 people have been killed this year alone in attacks blamed on Boko Haram insurgents, most of which have taken place in the northeastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Boko Haram first emerged in the early 2000s, preaching against government misrule and corruption. The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader while in police custody.

In the years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for attacking places of worship and government institutions, along with causing thousands of deaths.

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