Monday 23 April 2018

100 girls feared kidnapped

'Militants from the jihadist group stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, north-east Nigeria, on Monday' (stock photo)
'Militants from the jihadist group stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, north-east Nigeria, on Monday' (stock photo)

Roland Oliphant

More than 100 Nigerian school girls are feared to have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in the terror group's largest mass abduction since the notorious 2014 Chibok kidnappings.

Militants from the jihadist group stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, north-east Nigeria, on Monday.

Police confirmed more than 100 students remained unaccounted for.

"Eight hundred and fifteen students returned to the school and were visibly seen, out of 926 in the school," said Abdulmaliki Sumonu, police commissioner of Yobe state. "The rest are missing."

Mr Sumonu denied that ­kidnappings had been ­confirmed.

However, local media and agencies cited parents saying 91 girls had been kidnapped.

One parent said they had heard that between 67 and 94 girls were still missing.

Witnesses have described the militants making directly for the school, which teaches girls from the ages of 11 and above.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015 after promising to end the insurgency, said he had ­ordered the military and police to ­"mobilise immediately" to find the girls and dispatched his defence minister to the area.

"I share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for," he said on Twitter. "I would like to assure them that we are doing all in our power to ensure the safe return of all the girls."

"Our girls have been missing for two days and we don't know their whereabouts," said Abubakar Shehu, whose niece is among the missing. "We are beginning to harbour fears the worst might have happened. We have the fear that we are dealing with another Chibok scenario."

Boko Haram, which is seeking the establish an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, has kidnapped thousands of adults and children during the course of the conflict. The most notorious kidnapping came in April 2014, when it took 276 girls from a school in the town of Chibok.

Irish Independent

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