Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram reportedly abducted 91 more people from different villages in Nigeria’s northeast on Saturday, news reports said Tuesday, citing witnesses.
The latest kidnapping conducted by Boko Haram militants followed an attack on Kummabza village, located 95 miles from Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state. The ultra-hardline militants, who want to wipe out Western influence from the country, reportedly kidnapped 60 females and 31 boys, Associated Press, or AP, reported. The kidnappers also killed four people forcing survivors to abandon their villages, AP reported, adding that local authorities denied the abductions took place.
However, Agence France-Presse, which reported Tuesday that at least 30 people were killed in the attack Saturday, cited the Nigerian defense ministry as saying that it is “yet to confirm the several reports on the abduction of girls in Borno as at now.”
The abductions are the latest in a string of attacks by Boko Haram, which came into the global media spotlight when it kidnapped more than 300 schoolgirls on April 15. While some of the girls kidnapped at the time reportedly escaped, others have not yet been rescued, despite help from the international community, including the U.S., which sent troops to assist in the rescue efforts.
The Nigerian military has reportedly said that it knew the location where the girls are being held, but the girls' lives would be endangered if an offensive is launched against Boko Haram. The group, whose name means “western education is sinful,” has demanded the release of imprisoned militants in exchange for the schoolgirls' freedom -- a demand that President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not give in to.
On Monday, at least eight people were killed and 12 people were injured in an explosion in a medical college in the northern city of Kano, making it the third bombing in the last four months in the city, AP reported.
Also on Saturday, Boko Haram attackers raged through four more towns near Chibok, from where the schoolgirls were kidnapped in April, killing at least 39 villagers, including local vigilantes who have taken up arms against the militant group. About 24 Boko Haram fighters too were killed in crossfire with the vigilantes, according to AP.