Oren Dorrell of USA Today is reporting that the radical Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped 234 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. Boko Haram opposes the education of girls, and it has kidnapped girls in the past to use as cooks and sex slaves. Its earlier gun and bombing attacks on schools have killed hundreds of children. However, the massive kidnapping by militants who want to create an Islamic state in this oil-rich country that is half Christian and half Muslim is unprecedented. On Monday night, members of the group herded the girls onto school buses and took off. School officials initially reported that 185 schoolgirls had been taken. Parents subsequently reported that 234 schoolgirls were missing.
Vladimir Duthiers, Chelsea J. Carter and Greg Botelho of CNN are reporting that some of the girls have been returned home. However, many are still missing. In a video, Boko Haram has taken responsibility for a bombing in Abuja, killing dozens, but has failed to accept responsibility for the mass kidnapping of the schoolgirls. In the video, a member of the group said Boko Haram attacked a bus station in retaliation for the what he described as the government’s collusion with the United States in the killing of Muslims. The member also threatened Nigerian president Jonathan Goodluck.
Critics of the government are saying that Nigeria is unable to control Boko Haram, whose reach and power in the country is growing. The Burton Wire is wondering where is the U.S. and U.K. intervention on this issue?
The whereabouts of the remaining kidnapped schoolgirls are still unknown.