More than 90 Nigerian schoolgirls are feared missing after Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram attacked a village in the northeastern state of Yobe, two sources told Reuters on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Their disappearance, if confirmed, would be one of the largest since Boko Haram abducted more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014. That case drew global attention to the nine-year insurgency, which has sparked what the United Nations has called one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
President Muhammadu Buhari dispatched his foreign and defense ministers on Wednesday to Yobe to investigate the situation, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed, who was also headed there. But he declined to confirm whether any of the students was missing.
A roll-call at the girls’ school on Tuesday showed that 91 students were absent, said the two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
“I saw girls crying and wailing in three Tata vehicles and they were crying for help,” said a witness from the nearby village of Gumsa who was reportedly forced to show the insurgents the way out of the area and then released.
Reuters was unable to verify the witness’s account. Nigerian police and the regional education ministry denied any abductions had taken place, but parents and other witnesses also told Reuters some girls were missing.
The two sources, several parents and other local witnesses who spoke to Reuters did so on condition of anonymity because they had been warned by Nigerian security and government officials not to disclose the disappearance.
Seven parents told Reuters their daughters were among the missing.
“I hope my daughter is not one of those abducted as we learned that over ninety of them were not seen after going through their register book,” one parent said.