Scores abducted in northeast Nigeria

At least 60 girls and women and 31 boys seized in suspected Boko Haram attack on three villages near Maiduguri.

    Suspected Boko Haram fighters have abducted 60 girls and women and 31 boys from villages in northeast Nigeria, according to witnesses and a vigilante commander.

    Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, reporting from Bauchi in northern Nigeria, said on Tuesday the abduction happened over a three-day period - Thursday, Friday and Saturday - and took place in three villages about 60km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

    "A viligante commander in the town of Damboa has confirmed that three villages have been attacked by insurgents and a total of at least 90 people, most of them young people ... around 60 females and at least 30 males [abducted]." he said.  

    "It's unclear but there's also a report that four who tried to resist were shot."

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    Our correspondent said the region's police commissioner had said he had not received a formal report of the abductions but that was not unusual in Nigeria.

    A senior local councilor from Damboa local government told Associated Press news agency the abductions had occurred but requested anonymity because he was not authorised to give information to reporters.

    He said elderly survivors of the attack had walked about 25km to the relative safety of other villages.

    The Damboa council secretary, Modu Mustapha, said he could not confirm or deny the abductions.

    In a related development on Saturday, scores of Boko Haram fighters attacked four other villages close to Chibok, in Borno state, near the Cameroon border, from where hundreds of girls were kidnapped in April.

    Witnesses said at least 33 villagers were killed as well as six vigilantes and about two dozen Boko Haram fighters.

    On June 10, suspected Boko Haram fighters reportedly kidnapped at least 20 women from a nomadic settlement in northeast Nigeria.

    Those kidnappings were reported to have happened at a settlement near Chibok, with one local leader putting the number as high as 40.

    A local official said 40 young mothers were singled out and put into vehicles before being driven to an unknown location.

    Almost 300 girls were snatched from Chibok on April 15. While dozens of the girls managed to escape, 219 remain missing.

    The abductions sparked widespread protests around Nigeria and a global campaign calling for their rescue.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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