The group, who reportedly struck a ceasefire with Nigerian officials, were expected to release the schoolgirls in October. They have not yet delivered on that promise and a string of recent kidnappings seems to send the ominous message that the kidnapped may not return soon.
Heavily armed Boko Haram gunmen invaded the town of Mafa in Borno state Friday and Saturday and seized 30 boys and girls, local leaders said.
The news of the kidnappings was slow to emerge due to lack of telecom service in the region, where most telecom towers have been destroyed in Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency against Nigeria’s government.
“In the past two days Boko Haram insurgents stormed Mafa and abducted 30 boys aged 13 and above and girls aged 11 and above,” Mafa local government chairman Shettima Maina said.
“They took them away to their base in the bush, and we believe they are going to use them as foot soldiers,” Maina said.
Mallam Ashiekh Mustapha, the local chief of Mafa who confirmed the abductions, said the kidnappers also stole 300 cows from the farming community in the raid.
The group has yet to issue a public statement on the kidnappings. Their reign of terror, however, continues.
On Thursday Boko Haram killed 17 people in the nearby village of Ndongo, which they looted and set ablaze, Maina said.
“Many people have fled with their families to Maiduguri for fear of being killed or losing their children to the insurgents,” Mustapha said.
Maina lamented that the military had done nothing to stop the raids despite repeated complaints by local leaders.
Last week Boko Haram militia kidnapped 60 women and girls in two Christian villages in neighboring Adamawa state, according to residents and community leaders.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest from Nigeria.
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.