Sixty-three (63) women who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in parts of Borno state, about two weeks ago, may have escaped captivity and returned back to their homes, security sources revealed Sunday.
Some witnesses told reporters that the women surprisingly who emerged in large numbers on Saturday must have taken the opportunity of relaxed watch on the camps where they were held hostage to escape. It is believed that the siege by the insurgents on military and security facilities last Friday on Damboa might have presented the women with an opportunity to flee from their abductors. It would be recalled that 68 women were allegedly abducted by the insurgents from Kummabza village in Damboa local government area of Borno state two week ago.
The abduction was denied by the federal government but Borno state government treated the case with caution with the state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima setting up an inquiry into the abduction.
Small-scale kidnappings by Boko Haram extremists had been going on for months when they drew international condemnation for the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok town of Borno state on April 15. Some 219 of those girls still are missing. Boko Haram is demanding the release of detained fighters in exchange for the girls. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly has refused to consider a prisoner swap.
On Friday the Defense Ministry reported the arrests of three “suspected female terrorists” whom it accused of luring women, especially widows and young girls, by offering Boko Haram fighters as suitors. It said the arrests of recruiters for “the female wing of the terrorist’s group” followed a failed suicide bombing by a woman who blew herself up in front of a military camp in northeast Gombe last week.
More than 2,000 people have died so far this year in the 5-year-old Islamic uprising, compared to an estimated 3,600 in the four previous years.
With reports from AFP and ThisDaylive.