Suspected Muslim extremists kidnapped about 100 girls today from a school in northeastern Nigeria, less than a day after militants bombed a bus station and killed 75 people in the capital—a surge of violence that raised new doubts about the military's ability to contain an uprising by the Boko Haram terror network.
In the latest attack, gunmen killed a soldier and a police officer guarding a school in Chibok on the edge of the Sambisa Forest and abducted the teenage girls after midnight, according to authorities. Some of the girls escaped by jumping off the open truck as it was moving slowly along a road, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Islamic extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves. All schools in Borno state were closed three weeks ago because of stepped-up attacks that have killed hundreds of students in the past year.
But the young women—aged between 16 and 18—were recalled to take their final exams, a local government official said.
With an 11-month-old state of emergency in three northeastern states failing to bring relief, the attacks are increasing calls for President Goodluck Jonathan to rethink his strategy in confronting the biggest threat to the security of Africa's most populous nation.
The attacks by the Boko Haram have killed more than 1,500 people in this year alone, compared with an estimated 3,600 dead between 2010 and 2014.