Sixty-three women and girls escape from Boko Haram abductors
NIGERIA: More than 60
women and girls abducted last month by suspected Boko Haram militants in
northeast Nigeria have escaped their captors, sources have said.
Local vigilante Abbas
Gava said he had “received an alert from my colleagues … that about 63 of the
abducted women and girls had made it back home” late Friday.
A high-level security
source in the Borno state capital Maiduguri, who requested anonymity because he
was not authorised to speak on the matter, confirmed the escape.
Gava, a senior official
of the local vigilantes in Borno State who are working closely with security
officials, told journalists the women escaped when their captors went out to
“They took the bold
step when their abductors moved out to carry out an operation,” he said. Clashes
took place between the Islamists and the army late Friday after an attack by
the insurgents in the town of Damboa, where more than 50 of them were killed,
the army had said.
Spokesmen for the armed
forces or the government could not be reached on Sunday for comment. “It’s 83
days today that the girls have been abducted,” activist Aisha Yesufu told the
press after about 50 members of the Bring Back Our Girls movement tried Sunday
to march to the presidential palace in Abuja but were asked by security forces
to turn back.
“We have been coming
out for 68 days and nobody has really listened to us,” Yesufu told reporters
after the march. That is why the group “decided that we should just take the
protest back to the President so that he will know that we are still out there
after the 68 days that we have been coming out daily”.
Security experts say
the overstretched and under-resourced military is incapable of fighting an
effective counterinsurgency against the Boko Haram militants, who have killed
thousands in their five-year campaign for an independent Islamic state in the