Parents and principal say more than 100 Nigerian girls still missing

Mystery continues to surround the abduction of more than 100 school girls in Nigeria, after the school principal contradicted military reports that most of the girls had been freed.

By Ananth Baliga
Nigerian soldiers, pictured in 2007. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson)
Nigerian soldiers, pictured in 2007. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson)

CHIBOK, Nigeria, April 17 (UPI) -- The principal of the Nigerian school and parents have refuted the military's claims that 121 of the 129 girls have been found, after being abducted on April 14.

Asabe Kwambura, the principal of the state-run school from which Islamist militant group Boko Haram abducted over a 100 school girls earlier this week, said that only 14 out of 129 students had escaped. Managing director of Borno Urban Development Board Yahaya Chibok also confirmed that only 14 girls were free.


The military said in a statement Wednesday they had found 121 of the girls and were still looking for the remaining eight girls.

“There is no truth to the announcement of the military of freeing 121 students,” said Kwambura. “It’s only the 14 announced by Governor Kashim Shettima that we have seen,” Chibok said, referring to the Borno state governor.

“I feel bad that the military is trying to implicate me,” Principal Kwambura said when asked about the statement the military attributed to her.

Initial claims suggested that more than 200 girls had been abducted.

A girl who managed to escape and did not want to be named told the BBC that while she and the other students were sleeping, armed men burst into their hostel. The students were taken away in a convoy, which slowed down after one of the vehicles broke down. It was at this point that 10 to 15 girls escaped.


"We ran into the bush and waited until daybreak before we went back home," she said.

Militants from Boko Haram, which translates to "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language, have frequently targeted educational institutions. They have fought a four-year battle to impose Sharia law in Nigeria, and have been blamed for violent attacks carried out across the country.

[Bloomberg Businessweek] [BBC]

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