Nigeria’s information ministry said on Sunday that 110 girls are unaccounted for after an attack on a school in the village of Dapchi by suspected Boko Haram insurgents last week. Most of the girls are thought to be teenagers.
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The apparent Boko Haram militants ambushed the area in the northeast of the country on February 19 after Nigerian government soldiers had been withdrawn from key Dapchi checkpoints last month. Students and teachers fled into the surrounding countryside before Nigeria’s security forces later repelled the attack.
It could be the largest abduction in Nigeria since the Chibok kidnappings of 2014, when 276 schoolgirls were abducted by the Islamist militant group. Some of the Chibok girls escaped or were ransomed, but the location of more than 100 are still missing.
Parents of the recently abducted schoolgirls say they will join the high-profile “Bring Back Our Girls” movement that dominated global reaction to the Chibok kidnappings, a community leader said. That online campaign went viral around the world and pressured governments to try to find the missing schoolgirls.
Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria by waging a violent insurgency since 2009. Its insurgents have killed more than 20,000 people and forced two million to flee their homes.