- (Photo: Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters)
Gunmen with the terrorist group Boko Haram reportedly kidnapped 8 more girls this week near one of their strongholds in northeast Nigeria, police and local residents claim.
Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe, said that eight girls, ages 12 to 15, were kidnapped from his village in the northeast on Monday night. When describing the gunmen, Musa said: "They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army color. They started shooting in our village."
A police source added to Reuters that the girls were taken away in trucks, along with livestock and food that they had also stolen from the village.
According to the Daily Times Nigeria, Boko Haram members also took over all of the highways surrounding Warabe to better facilitate their kidnapping. The newspaper reports that the terror group controls much of the area surrounding Warabe.
This recent kidnapping comes after the release of a video showing the terror group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls, the majority of whom are Christians, from Chibok, in the Borno State, last month. In the video, Abubakar vowed to sell the girls into slavery, saying "Allah" commanded him to do so.
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," the man, who claims to be Shekau, says in the hour-long video.
"There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women," he continued in the local Hausa language. The video was obtained by the Agence-France Presse and translated by CNN.
Some of the school girls are reportedly being sold as brides to Boko Haram militants for the equivalent price of $12 U.S. dollars, while others are being transported to neighboring Cameroon and Chad to be sold. Nigerian police have reported that 53 of the girls were able to escape their captors, but 280 still remain in captivity.
Last month's kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls has prompted an international campaign to return the young women to their homes. Bloggers in Nigeria and abroad have started the internet campaign #bringourgirlsback, and late last month, Nigeria women gathered in several cities to hold demonstrations, demanding the government work harder to find the kidnapped girls.
According to CNN, the U.S. indicated this week that it is willing to help Nigeria in finding the lost girls, but made it clear that Nigeria must take the lead on finding the kidnapped girls. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the "will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice," but it remains unclear what type of assistance will be offered.