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Nigeria Gunmen Seize 20 Women Near Site of Schoolgirl Kidnap

Schoolgirl abduction
Schoolgirls who escaped from Boko Haram kidnappers in the village of Chibok, some of more than 200 kidnapped girls, arrive at the Government house to speak with Borno state governor Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on June 2, 2014. Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Suspected Islamist gunmen abducted about 20 women from a nomadic settlement near the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped two months ago, a local official said.

The ethnic Fulani women were taken after the assailants attacked a settlement known as Garkin Fulani at midday yesterday and ordered the women into their vehicles at gunpoint, Alhaji Tar, a member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, said in a phone interview. They were driven off to an unknown location, he said.

“We got the information that they went there and took away the women at the time none of the males were there,” Tar said. “The three young men they met there could not help the women, as the gunmen also ordered the three of them to enter the Hilux vans and took all of them away.”

Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group whose insurgency against Nigeria’s government has killed thousands of people over the past five years, abducted more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok in April. The U.S. and U.K. sent teams to Nigeria to help the government find the schoolgirls, and Israel and France have pledged assistance.

Calls to Borno Police Commissioner Lawal Tanko’s mobile phone didn’t connect when Bloomberg sought comment on the latest attack.

Separately in Borno, the Nigerian army killed more than 50 suspected insurgents in a June 7 operation which prevented rebel assaults on villages in Borno and Adamawa states, military authorities said today.

“The attack was launched on the terrorists as they filed out of the forest to embark on their mission,” Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. Four soldiers were wounded, it said.

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