Nigeria’s president has said that his country will win its “war on terror”, despite another attack by Boko Haram fighters in the northeast that reportedly killed hundreds.
Speaking at the World Ecomomic Forum in Abuja on Thursday, Goodluck Jonathan thanked foreign nations for their support against Boko Haram, which is also accused of abducting more than 200 girls and women from a school.
“As a nation we are facing attacks from terrorists,” Jonathan said.
“I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria.”
Jonathan admitted on national television earlier this week that he had no idea where the girls were.
The abductions and numerous other attacks by Boko Haram have overshadowed Nigeria’s hosting of the forum, an annual gathering of the rich and powerful that replicates the one in Davos, Switzerland.
Reports on Wednesday said that Boko Haram rebels had killed as many as 300 people in the town of Gamboru Ngala, Chibok.
It is the same area where more than 200 girls and women were abducted from a school last month.
Area Senator Ahmed Zanna put the death toll in the attack on Gamboru Ngala at 300, an account supported by residents.
Zanna said the town had been left unguarded because soldiers based there had been redeployed north towards Lake Chad in an effort to rescue the schoolgirls abducted on April 14.
The US, the UK, France and China have all offered help to find them.
Nigeria’s response to the abductions has been criticised including by activists and parents of the hostages who say the military’s search operation has been inept so far.
Jonathan’s administration has sought to appear more engaged with the plight of the hostages in recent days, especially after Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram chief, released a video threatening to sell the girls as “slaves”.
In a second kidnapping, another 11 girls aged 12 to 15 were seized on Sunday from Gwoza, an area not far from Chibok and also in Borno state, Boko Haram’s base.
Thousands have been killed in Boko Haram’s five-year uprising.