Militants abduct over 100 girls from Nigeria school
Militants abduct over 100 girls from Nigeria school
Some of the schoolgirls in the Chibok area of southern Borno state narrowly escaped their kidnappers by jumping off a truck in the middle of the night as the gunmen sought to cart them away, according to multiple witnesses.
A security source who requested anonymity said the attackers were members of Boko Haram, a radical group whose name means “Western education is forbidden.”
The group has repeatedly attacked schools in the northeast during an insurgency that has killed thousands since 2009.
Asked to confirm media reports that 200 girls had been taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, the source said: “The number is not up to 200, but it is over 100.”
The gunmen, riding in trucks and on motorcycles, stormed the town after sundown, torching several buildings before opening fire on troops who were guarding the school, said Chibok resident Salisu Ibrahim in an account supported by other witnesses.
The gun battle, which occurred on Monday, reportedly lasted several hours but the rebels ultimately overpowered the troops and entered the school, said Emmanuel Sam, an education officer based in Chibok.
Sam, who fled to Borno’s capital Maiduguri after the attack, said “many” girls had been abducted, but declined to offer a more precise figure. He said the girls had been scheduled to sit exams this week.
The militants loaded the girls onto trucks and drove away, multiple witnesses said.
“We were able to follow the path of the truck and we found it broke down deep in the bush,” the security source told AFP.
“We are now trying to locate the whereabouts of the abducted girls,” he added.
Borno, Boko Haram’s stronghold and where the group was founded more than a decade ago, is a remote region with notoriously bad roads.
Ibrahim, also speaking from Maiduguri, told AFP that “some of the girls jumped out of the truck,” as it moved and some of those who escaped managed to make it back to Chibok.
In an attack earlier this year in Borno state, witnesses said Boko Haram gunmen surrounded a girls’ school, forced the students to leave and ordered them to immediately return to their villages.
The rebels have been blamed for a series of school massacres, including the mass shooting of students in their sleep earlier this year in Yobe state.
Boko Haram’s insurgency has crippled education in Borno, with schools across the state having been shut down.
But a mass abduction specifically targeting girls is unprecedented in the group’s uprising.
Trump Administration says it knows location of all children
- Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them
- As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Fr
Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them.
A fact sheet on “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” released Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries.
As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A parent or guardian trying to determine if a child is in the custody of HHS should contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 1-800-203-7001, or via email [email protected] Information will be collected and sent to HHS funded facility where minor is located.
The fact sheet doesn’t state how long it might take to reunite families. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation.
How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by HHS and adults detained through ICE. Children have been sent to shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found.
The fact sheet states that ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process; designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody; worked closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and coordinated with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents’ departure from the US
President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the practice of separating parents and their children to stop. As of last Wednesday, 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, the fact sheet said.
This version of the story has been corrected to say that the fact sheet was issued by the Department of Homeland Security, not Health and Human Services,
HHS zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification fact sheet:
Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center: