Terror group Boko Haram's teenagers abduct school boys in Nigeria

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Dec 17, 2020, 10:38 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Boko Haram has killed more than 57,000 people in the last 10 years. The Islamist insurgency has displaced 2.5 million people and it poses a threat, not just to Nigeria, but to the world

More than 300 schoolboys were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria six days ago and they haven't returned home.

Now, their abductors have now released a video. The boys had gone to school and they haven't returned home since last Friday. Their families have been living their worst nightmare.

There were 333 boys abducted from school in broad daylight even as 17 have been rescued. Two boys have died and with each passing day the chances of survival and return for the rest has been dimming rapidly.

It is the world's biggest such kidnapping. However, it has happened in Nigeria earlier. In 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped and more than 100 haven't returned yet. Now, six years later more than 300 boys have been taken with both kidnappings carried out by the same group - Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has killed more than 57,000 people in the last 10 years. The Islamist insurgency has displaced 2.5 million people and it poses a threat, not just to Nigeria, but to the world but the world is paying scant attention to the impending crisis. Children have been terrorised for going to school which is the safest place for a child after their home.

In Nigeria going to school means risking your life.

The kidnappings took place in Katsina, northwest Nigeria. The students were in class when terrorists stormed the premises and opened fire. When the students heard the shots they jumped out of windows to escape, some were successful but many were not as over 300 boys could not escape and were abducted, split into groups and taken away.

Usama Aminu was one of those who made it. The boy suffers from sickle cell anaemia despite his condition he somehow managed to escape after hiding inside a mosque. Usama was discovered by locals and rescued.

"We walked through the night in the bush and at sunrise they found a place and asked us to sit down. When the bandits heard the sound of the helicopter hovering above they asked us to lay down under the large trees with our face to the ground, Usama said, adding,"we came across young boys that are not as old as the ones that came to kidnap us from the school, boys in their teens armed with guns in the bush, some are younger than us."

"We had been walking for so long and I was already exhausted. I am a sickle cell patient so I had to hold my friends shoulder, one to my right, the other on the left, before I could continue the treacherous walk in the bush as the bandits continue to flog people from the back so that they can move faster," he added.

Some kidnappers were younger than the students they kidnapped younger than Usama Aminu who is only 17-years-old. There were several teenagers-turned-terrorists who were out to abduct school boys. They were reportedly more than 100 who stormed the school last Friday.

It is still not clear how many boys were taken away even as officials say there were more than 300 but the residents in Kankara claim more than 500 students are missing. Many of the families fear the worse. They have been going to school everyday hoping for some news but they haven't got any answers.

"There's no way I can measure my anger now, this is the fourth day we come here in the morning to the school, we don't leave until 6pm. No woman wants to be outside at this hour but we cannot sleep, we cannot eat because of our missing children. When we see security men moving back and forth, it gives us hope of finding our children," Marwa Hamza Kankara, parent of the missing boy, said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's security forces have launched an operation but, they haven't met with any success as Jihadist group Boko haram has been expanding moving beyond its traditional stronghold in north-east Nigeria.

(Story: Phil Ihaza, WION correspondent in Abuja)

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