Nigeria’s military combed the woods in search of more than 100 school girls who were abducted earlier this week by Boko Haram Islamists, authorities said Wednesday.
Vigilantes and volunteers aided in the search near the northeastern town of Chibok, where heavily armed men descended on the Government Secondary School Monday night as the girls slept in their dormitories. After a long gun battle with soldiers guarding the school, the militants herded the girls onto buses, vans and trucks and drove off, flanked by motorcycles.
“They took away my daughter and my niece… and we fear for their safety in the hands of these merciless people that take delight in killing and destruction,” said the mother of one of the abducted girls. “I don’t know what to do. The whole family is confused and we have turned to prayers which is all we have.”
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Boko Haram, which translates as “western education is sin,” is known to have carried out deadly attacks on other schools in the northeast. In a clip released by the group March 23, leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to launch raids and abduct girls from schools.