100 Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram ‘Still Missing’ in Nigeria

Boko Haram
Girls who fled during the attack by Boko Haram on their school pose for a picture in Dapchi, Nigeria.

“I can’t sleep since my daughters have gone missing,” said Modu Goniri. “No one can actually say the whereabouts of the girls, they have disappeared completely.”

About 100 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from their school in Nigeria are still missing, with two found dead since the students were abducted on Monday, the Nigerian Daily Post reports.  Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for the Yobe government, the state in which the attack took place, had previously said 48 girls were “rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian army from the terrorists who abducted them.”

Bego had to retract his statement on Wednesday: “We have now established that the information we relied on to make the statement was not credible. The Yobe state government apologises for that,” he said.

It’s unclear how many students were taken from their Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) by Boko Haram, a violent insurgent group, but school officials say there were about 920 students in class when the attack took place.

Some of the students managed to escape or have already been found. At least two were “found on the border between Yobe and Borno.”

Modu Goniri, whose two daughters were kidnapped, says he’s terrified: those who managed to escape have told of forced sex, forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam by Boko Haram soldiers during their captivity.

“I can’t sleep since my daughters have gone missing,” Goniri told USA Today. “No one can actually say the whereabouts of the girls, they have disappeared completely without any trace.”

Since 2009, Boko Haram, which claims strict adherence to Islam, has killed about 20,000 people and displaced a further two million from northeastern Nigeria with the hopes of forming its own state. The militia has factions elsewhere in Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently said Boko Haram violence “is gradually drawing to end,” but the group continues to attack areas of Yobe, targeting women and children.

Monday’s kidnapping at the all-girls school is bringing back memories of the 2014 Boko Haram kidnapping, in which 276 girls were taken from a school in Borno state. At least 110 of those students are still missing.