Africa

Boko Haram unrest: Nigeria government 'outraged' by kidnap

Boko Haram militants (file photo) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Boko Haram has taken control of several towns and villages in the north-east

Nigeria's government has said it is "outraged and deeply saddened" after militants attacked a remote village and reportedly kidnapped about 200 people.

The attack was carried out by suspected Boko Haram gunmen.

A government spokesman said the Islamist group was spreading terror by targeting civilians.

Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency since 2009 and is seeking to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

The attack happened on Sunday but news only emerged on Thursday after survivors reached the city of Maiduguri.

So far there has been no official claim of responsibility from any group.

Government spokesman Mike Omeri released a statement condemning the "deplorable act" late on Thursday.

"It is impossible to verify the number of those missing at this early stage because it is presumed that many civilians fled during the attack," he said.

One witness, who said he helped bury 33 bodies, told the BBC that about 200 women and children had been kidnapped from Gumsuri village in the north-eastern Borno state.

There have been an increasing number of attacks in Nigeria since three states - Borno, Adamawa and Yobe - were put under emergency rule more than 18 months ago.

The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in April from the town of Chibok in Borno state sparked international outrage.


Who are Boko Haram?

Image copyright AFP
Image caption More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the group in April
  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria - also attacked police and UN headquarters in the capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people are affected
  • Declared a terrorist group by the US in 2013

Who are Boko Haram?

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau


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