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Newly abducted Nigerians escape Boko Haramcomment (0)

July 8, 2014


More than 60 Nigerian women and girls Boko Haram abducted from northeast Nigeria two weeks ago have escaped and are reunited with their families, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The women and girls are not part of the 273 schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped in mid-April, 219 of whom remain missing and are perhaps enslaved as wives of Muslim men.

Nigerian government officials had denied the June abductions of the women and girls, some as young as 3, despite eyewitness accounts that Boko Haram took the women while attacking Kummabza and surrounding villages three days in late June. The women and girls escaped on or around July 3 while Boko Haram extremists were busy attacking military barracks and the police headquarters in Damboa town, AP reported, attributing the information to Pogu Bitrus, the Chibok local government chairman.

Responding to Boko Haram's attack on Damboa, the Nigerian army killed 53 terrorists and lost six Nigerian soldiers in the battle, Reuters reported. Nigerian security officials have been known to inflate numbers when reporting of attacks against Boko Haram, Reuters added in the report.

On July 4, a suicide bomber killed five Muslims and wounded dozens in an attack on a mosque in the remote village of Konduga in northeast Nigeria, Reuters reported. The attack is believed to have occurred a few yards from the mosque while the Muslims were praying.

Boko Haram has intensified attacks in northeast Nigeria since April, killing Christians and moderate Muslims who do not agree with the extremists' militant tactics.

Amid the attacks, Christians are still spreading the gospel, said Nigerian relations expert Adeniya Ojutiku, a Raleigh, N.C., Southern Baptist who has organized the grassroots group Lift Up Now to improve the lives of Nigerians in his homeland.

In the village of Attagara, one of three northeastern Nigerian villages where Boko Haram attacked churches and killed more than 200 worshippers June 1, Christianity was spreading, Ojutiku said, based on a firsthand account from a Lift Up Now volunteer there.

"Because of their passion for evangelism, they went to nearby villages and converted over 3,500 peoples to Christianity and planted a church in villages like Aganjara, Agamanchiya and Angurva with multiple disciples," the volunteer told Ojutiku in an email.

"They were popularly known for their faith in Christ," the email reads. "They had over 50 ordained ministers in different denominations. … Sometimes the [Muslim] community called them 'RADICALS FOR JESUS' because of [their behavior] in holding to faith." (BP)

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