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More help pledged for Chibok girls

by
20 June 2014

by a staff reporter

AP

Plea: a woman attends a prayer meeting calling for the Nigerian government to rescue the kidnapped girls, in Abuja, at the end of last month 

Plea: a woman attends a prayer meeting calling for the Nigerian government to rescue the kidnapped girls, in Abuja, at the end of last month&n...

AS THE case of the missing Nigerian schoolgirls enters its third month ( News, 16 May), the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has promised more "tactical assistance" to Nigerian government forces in order to counter the threat from the Islamist group Boko Haram.

More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped two months ago from their school in Chibok, in the north-east of Nigeria; and, despite help from the UK and the United States, they have not been found. They are thought to have been hidden in the remote forest regions of northern Nigeria. The assistance will include more training for troops, who are facing repeated attacks.

Boko Haram has increased its activities in recent weeks, carrying out shootings and machete attacks in remote villages. More than 2000 civilians have died in the region since the group began its insurgency in 2009.

In some cases, villagers say that it has taken more than a week for government troops to arrive. Churches have also been targeted by Boko Haram, which is attempting to set up an Islamic state in Nigeria.

A suicide bomber this week killed at least 13 people who had gathered in Damaturu, in northern Nigeria, to watch a televised World Cup match. A state of emergency is now in place there.

 

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