The Hindu (Mumbai)

200 people, mostly women and children, abducted by extremists in Nigeria: UN


At least 200 people, mostly women and children displaced by violence in northeaste­rn Nigeria, were abducted by Islamic extremists while they were searching for firewood near the border with Chad, the United Nations office in Nigeria said late Wednesday.

The victims had left several displaceme­nt camps to look for firewood in Borno state’s Gamboru Ngala council area when they were ambushed and taken hostage, the UN said, in the latest attack in the conflicthi­t region where frequent abductions and killings limit movement.

“The exact number of people abducted remains unknown but is estimated at over 200 people,” the UN humanitari­an coordinato­r for Nigeria Mohamed Fall said in a statement about the attacks, which occurred several days ago but whose details are only emerging now because of

The attacks occurred several days ago but the details are only emerging now because of limited access to informatio­n

limited access to informatio­n in the area.

Local people blamed the attack on Islamic extremist rebels who launched an insurgency in Borno in 2009 seeking to establish their radical interpreta­tion of Islamic law in the region.

At least 35,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced due to the violence by the militant Boko Haram group and a breakaway faction backed by the Islamic State group.

Many of those fleeing the violence are in displaceme­nt camps like the ones in Gamboru Ngala where security is limited to areas near the camp, leaving them either to starve in the camps — amid dwindling aid — or risk their safety in search of food.

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