Voice of America (Washington, DC)

23 April 2014

Nigeria: Rights Group Urges Govt to Rescue Captured Girls

A human rights group is urging Nigeria's government to do more to rescue the many teenage girls who are still missing after being abducted last week by Islamist extremists.

A member of the group Baobab for Women's Human Rights, Hajiya Aishatu Ngulde, said Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan should mobilize military planes to search for the girls.

Parents and school officials say as many as 230 girls are still missing, after being abducted from the Chibok secondary school in the country's northeast. Only 43 have been able to escape on their own.

Authorities originally said 129 girls were kidnapped in the incident, and that 52 had escaped.

The girls are believed to be held in a forested area near the Cameroonian border.

There have been no claims of responsibility. But the kidnappings are believed to have been carried out by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has been abducting young women for use as servants, spies and even "wives."

Residents from Chibok and Nigeria's military have organized separate search efforts for the abducted girls.

Boko Haram's name means "Western education is a sin." The group wants to impose strict Islamic law on northern Nigeria and is blamed for many attacks and thousands of deaths since launching an insurgency in 2009.

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