Heavily armed men have kidnapped more than
100 200 girls from a secondary school in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state and torched the surrounding town, a day after a deadly bombing in the African state’s capital.
Al-Jazeera (h/t Maria J) No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s kidnapping, but fingers were pointed at fighters of the armed group Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”.
The attackers killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students, a State Security Service official said.
Some of the girls managed to escape from the back of an open lorry, other officials said.
“Many girls were abducted by the rampaging gunmen who stormed the school in a convoy of vehicles,” Emmanuel Sam, an education official in the town of Chibok, where the attack took place, told AFP news agency.
He spoke from Borno’s capital Maiduguri where he said he fled after the attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok.
The attackers came “in trucks and on motorcycles and headed to the school”, where they overpowered soldiers deployed to guard it, a witness who requested anonymity said.
Boko Haram has repeatedly attacked schools in the northeast during an insurgency that has killed thousands since 2009. In an attack earlier this year in Borno, witnesses said Boko Haram fighters surrounded a girls’ school, forced the students to leave and ordered them to immediately return to their villages. (Yet, the president of the United States tells Nigeria to show restraint in going after these terrorists)
The fighters are known to be abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves. Boko Haram wants to establish a state ruling by Islamic law in the northeast. Nigeria’s Muslims mainly live in the north while Christians mostly in the south.