Four years after Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 girls from a school in the town of Chibok, the group has struck again, attacking a boarding school in northern Nigeria.
About 100 girls were earlier said to have been missing after some of them fled into the bush outside the town of Dapchi during the attack on Monday. Police and government officials said on Wednesday that there was no proof that the girls had been kidnapped.
But the Yobe government, where the incident had happened later said in a statement that the military had rescued some of the students from Boko Haram. Seventy-six schoolgirls have so far been recovered by the military. The bodies of two others were also recovered on Wednesday, witnesses told Reuters news agency. It is, however, unclear how they died.
“Everybody is celebrating their coming with songs and praises to God almighty,” Babagana Umar, one of the parents whose daughter had disappeared was quoted by Reuters. “The only sad news is that two girls were dead and no explanation.”
The girls who were rescued have since returned to the village of Dapchi. About 13 students are currently missing.
Parents and witnesses who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said the Nigerian government and its security have warned them not to reveal any information about the disappearance of the girls. This may not be a surprise to many considering the fact that Nigerian authorities denied several attacks in the northeast, including the Chibok kidnapping.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday dispatched his foreign and defence ministers to Yobe to investigate the incident.
Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.
It has so far caused havoc in the country through series of bombings, assassinations and abductions.
The Nigerian Army earlier this month commenced road construction into the heartland of Sambisa forest in a bid to dislodge remnants of the Boko Haram sect who often use the forest as their hideout.
Sani Kukasheka, Director of Army Public Relations, said the army had begun construction of access roads to open the forest and link adjourning communities.