The Boko Haram Takfiri terror group has kidnapped nearly two dozen girls and women in two separate attacks in northeast Nigeria as fears grow of more such raids amid the Nigerian military’s failure to contain the Daesh-linked militancy.
Witnesses said on Friday that in one of the incidents, Boko Haram militants raided the village of Pulka in the volatile state of Borno near the border with Cameroon, abducting 18 girls.
A Pulka community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the militants arrived in pickup vans in the morning and “seized 14 young girls aged 17 and below” while residents were running away into the bush.
“They picked four other girls who were fleeing the raid they came across in the bush outside the village,” added the source.
Confirming the incident, a resident said the girls were likely to end up as brides for the members of the terrorist group.
The second raid was outside the village of Dumba, close to Lake Chad, where the militants killed a herdsman for refusing to pay protection money.
A member of a vigilante group in the region said the Boko Haram terrorists slaughtered the herdsman and shot dead 50 of his cattle, also taking four women from the man’s family.
The latest abductions recalled a similar raid back in 2014, when the Takfiri group kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in the northeastern town of Chibok in Borno.
About 80 of the girls managed to escape afterward or were swapped for a number of Boko Haram prisoners, but the fate of the rest remains unknown.
Nigeria has been at war with Boko Haram since the group launched militancy in Borno State about eight years ago. More than 20,000 people have been killed while the violence has displaced over 2.7 million others.
The group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has been wreaking havoc in the Middle East and North Africa over the past few years.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 with a pledge to eradicate Boko Haram, claims to have prevailed over Boko Haram’s militancy; however, frequent deadly attacks in the West African country prove the opposite.
The failure against Boko Haram comes as the Nigerian military is being backed by troops from affected neighboring countries such as Chad and Cameroon in its operations against the terror group.
Buhari is also under criticism over economic hardships, high cost of living and poor government handling of the economic crisis in the country.
UN urges renewed anti-Boko Haram efforts
In another development, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Friday, calling for enhanced efforts to quash the Boko Haram militancy, which has led to a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
The 15-member body expressed “grave concern at the ongoing terrorist attacks” by the Takfiri group and “the dire humanitarian situation across the region caused by the activities of Boko Haram.”
Reports indicate that the current humanitarian response is insufficient in Nigeria amid extreme levels of food insecurity.
In December last year, the UN children’s fund reported that around 400,000 children in Nigeria were at the risk of famine, adding that 80,000 of the kids could die from hunger within months.
The council also urged greater support aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the multinational UN peacekeeping troops in the fight against terrorists in the region.
During the past several months, Boko Haram has resorted to carrying out sporadic raids against villages and bomb attacks against civilians in urban areas, killing hundreds of people.
Last week, the Takfiri group raided a village in Borno State and killed three civilians on suspicion of collaborating with the Nigerian military.
Nigerians have been suffering after a fall in oil prices since mid-2014 slashed government revenue. The developments have pushed up inflation to more than 20 percent and weakened the naira currency.