Late Monday night, gunmen of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram (pictured) allegedly abducted about 100 girls in Chibok, Borno state, Nigeria, with the militant group reportedly ordering the young girls in to trucks. The group’s name means “Western education is forbidden,” which is reportedly Boko Haram’s main reason for attacking schools and other educational institutions, according to the BBC.
“The exact number of missing students had yet to be established, as some of the girls had managed to return to their homes,” the BBC reported on Monday. However on Wednesday, updated reports indicated that the majority of the girls are still missing and may have been taken to a forest near the border of Cameroon.
The BBC reports:
Our correspondent say that the Nigerian military’s statement that most of the girls had escaped contrasts sharply with other information available to the BBC.
Hours before the military issued its statement, the governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima had said the vast majority of the girls were still missing.
He offered a reward of 50m naira ($308,000; £184,000) for information in the case.
Boko Haram has been blamed for bombings that killed more than 70 people in the capital city of Abuja on Monday. While Boko Haram is believed to be active in northeast Nigeria, many are growing fearful as the bombings have moved in to the capital. This year, alone, the group has killed more than 1,500 civilians in the region.
UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement about the mass abduction, calling it both “shocking” and a “grave violation,”The targeting of schools and schoolchildren is a grave violation of international humanitarian law,” he said in a statement. “Schools are, and must remain, safe places where children can learn and grow in peace.”