1 Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirl Is Back Home; Fate of 84 Others Remains Unknown

Fate of kidnapped students uncertain
Fate of kidnapped students uncertain

Boko Haram’s elusive leader claimed responsibility for a bombing in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja that left dozens dead, but said nothing about the group’s reported mass abduction of schoolgirls that occurred the same day as the explosion.

A man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau made the comments in a video posted online on Saturday, saying the group attacked a bus station in retaliation for the what he described as the government’s collusion with the United States in the killing of Muslims.

“This is a prelude,” said the man, who wore camouflage and held an AK-47 assault rifle, in the video.

In a warning to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the man said: “Let me be blunt: I am in your city, near you. Find me.”

Mass abduction

The video surfaced the same day that an education official said a Nigerian schoolgirl, who was among the 129 kidnapped Monday by suspected Boko Haram militants, had returned home.

Even so, 84 of the girl’s classmates remain unaccounted for.

A total of 45 girls are now free, according to a statement from Borno State Education Commissioner Musa Inuwa Kulo.

This still unsettled situation began Monday night, when militants engaged in a battle with guards at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok began herding the girls onto buses and trucks and drove off, authorities said.

But some of the schoolgirls managed subsequently to escape, including 14 on Friday and others on previous days, according to Kulo.

This is a far cry from the Defense Ministry’s previous report that all but eight of the girls had found freedom, a claim that Nigeria’s military retracted Thursday.

This retraction spurred fervent criticism of the government, with Lawan Zanna — the father of one of the students — blasting it as having resorted to “blatant propaganda” by making a “blatant lie.”

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Source: CNN | Vladimir Duthiers, Chelsea J. Carter and Greg Botelho

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