Militants kill over 100 villagers in 12-hour rampage
Islamist militants have killed more than 100 people in a Nigerian border town, escalating the country's violent insurrection in which hundreds of schoolgirls have been kidnapped.
Scores of gunmen attacked the town of Gamboru Ngala, on Nigeria's border with Cameroon, in a 12-hour rampage, setting fire to houses and firing on civilians as they tried to flee.
A resident, who declined to give his name, said the attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) as they began shooting after the end of the Muslim call to prayer.
Ahmed Zannah, a senator, blamed fighters of the country's Boko Haram terrorist network that has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of 276 teenage girls from their boarding school three weeks ago.
Abubakar Shekau, the group's leader, threatened to "sell" the students, saying they should not have been in school in the first place, but should get married.
A relation of one of the girls who managed to escape said how his niece jumped from the truck that was driving her away and clung to the branch of an overhanging tree.
Monday Yuguda (16) seized her moment when the open-topped truck in which she was travelling slowed to a crawl as it drove by night through forest.
With her captors unable to see her clearly, she stood up, grabbed a low-hanging branch and clung to it until the convoy had moved on to a safe distance. She then made her way back through the forest to the town of Chibok, where the attack took place, her uncle explained.
"She was in a convoy of several vehicles, and two of those ahead of her own car got engine problems during the course of the night," said Dauda Iliya (53). "That slowed them down, and as they were driving through the bush, it got slow enough for her grab a branch. It was something like out of the movies."
Details of Ms Yuguda's remarkable escape emerged as Nigerian police offered a 50 million naira (€214,000) reward to anyone who could give information leading to the rescue of the girls still missing.
On Tuesday, the United Sates said it would send a specialist hostage crisis team to help the Nigerian government locate the girls and advise on efforts to get them freed.
US President Barack Obama described the kidnapping as a wake-up call to the outside world to take action against Boko Haram, which has killed an estimated 4,000 people during a reign of terror across Nigeria. (© Daily Telegraph, London)