Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have reportedly kidnapped at least 20 women from a nomadic settlement in northeast Nigeria, where the rebel group abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
The latest kidnappings are reported to have happened at a settlement near Chibok in Borno state, with one local leader putting the number as high as 40.
A local official told the AFP news agency, 40 young mothers were singled out and put into vehicles before being driven to an unknown location.
Alhaji Tar, a member of a vigilante group set up to resist Boko Haram‘s attacks, told AFP the men arrived at noon on Saturday in the Garkin Fulani settlement and forced the women to enter their vehicles at gunpoint.
He said the group also took three young men who tried to stop the kidnapping.
“We tried to go after them when the news got to us about three hours later, but the vehicles we have could not go far, and the report came to us a little bit late,” he said.
Almost 300 girls were snatched from Chibok, near the Cameroon border, on April 15. While 53 of the girls managed to escape, 223 girls remain missing.
The abductions have sparked widespread protests around Nigeria and a global campaign calling for their rescue with the United Nations warning the schoolgirls ‘definitely’ face the danger of rape.