Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Official: Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds of Nigerian civilians

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Chadian soldiers transfer weapons seized from Boko Haram fighters to a truck in the Nigerian city of Damasak, Nigeria, recently. Damasak was flushed of Boko Haram militants last week.
Chadian soldiers display a Boko Haram flag for the benefit of the press in the Nigerian city of Damasak, Nigeria, Wednesday, recently.
File photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, shows their leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP):

A top Nigerian official says that hundreds of civilians, including many children, have been kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists who are using them as human shields.

Mike Omeri, the Nigerian spokesman for the fight against Boko Haram, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that several hundred people were adbucted by the Islamic militants as they retreated earlier this month from Damasak in northeastern Nigeria. He said he could not specify how many were kidnapped but local reports say as many as 500 people were taken.

Omeri said the Islamic rebels went to Damasak's primary schools and rounded up students and teachers and then retreated.

Troops from Chad and Niger recaptured Damasak, near the border with Niger, from Boko Haram on March 16. The mass kidnapping happened as the extremists were fleeing the advancing troops and information about the abductions has only been confirmed now.