Boko Haram: Schoolgirls escape militant attack

Schoolgirls and teachers in north-eastern Nigeria have escaped an attack on a boarding school by Boko Haram jihadists, witnesses say.

They say the militants in pick-up trucks arrived in the town of Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday evening, shooting and setting off explosives.

Staff and students fled, while the militants looted the school for food.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 girls from a school in the north-eastern town of Chibok.

Some residents and civilian militia in Dapchi said they believed the jihadists had planned to kidnap schoolgirls in their town too, AFP news agency reports.

But a teacher at the school told the BBC the militants were only interested in looting, and left with food some three hours later.

They had also looted a shop, one resident said.

The jihadists came into the town, firing guns and letting off explosives, causing students and teachers to flee into the surrounding bush.

They say that Nigeria’s security forces – backed by military jets – later repelled the attack.

The school has been shut, and is being guarded by troops.

Last September, a group of more than 100 of the Chibok girls were reunited with their families at a party in the capital, Abuja.

Most of the group were released in May as part of a controversial prisoner swap deal with the Nigerian government that saw five Boko Haram commanders released.

But more than 100 schoolgirls are still being held by Boko Haram, and their whereabouts are unknown.

Boko Haram militants have been fighting a long insurgency in their quest for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. The conflict is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of people.

The Chibok girls represent a fraction of the women captured by the militant group, which has kidnapped thousands during its eight-year insurgency in northern Nigeria.


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