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Terrorists still hold 187 Nigerian schoolgirls

02 May 2014

by a staff reporter


Anxious time: unidentified mothers, in Abuja, call for President Goodluck Jonathan's help over the kidnapped girls

Anxious time: unidentified mothers, in Abuja, call for President Goodluck Jonathan's help over the kidnapped girls

SUSPECTED members of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram are believed to be holding 187 girls hostage in north-eastern Nigeria, after kidnapping them from their boarding school in Chibok at night.

Several girls managed to escape and get back to their families during the kidnapping on 14 April, but most are still being held. The Christian Association of Nigeria has called for prayer and fasting for the girls' safe release.

On the same day, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a bus station on the edge of the capital, Abuja, that killed 75.

Amnesty International has reported that about 1500 people were killed in the first three months of 2014, many in attacks by Boko Haram on villages and towns in north-eastern Nigeria.

A state of emergency was declared in three states last year, but the violence has continued.

President Goodluck Jonathan held a security meeting last week with governors of 36 states to seek ways of ending the Islamist group's five-year insurgency.

"We agreed that the Boko Haram war is not a religious war, and therefore it's a war against all Nigerians and should be treated as such," a statement said after the meeting.

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