The leader of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group responsible for kidnapping hundreds schoolgirls from their Nigerian boarding school, has vowed the girls will be sold.
Between 200 and 300 teenagers were kidnapped at gunpoint from their school in mid-April by Boko Haram, which opposes education for women and girls. Some of the girls managed to escape; the rest were hauled into the woods, where they have been held ever since. Relatives of the girls have been claiming the girls are being sold as sex slaves, which Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau all but confirmed.
In a video message, Skekau took responsibility for the kidnapping. According to the AFP, he said, ”Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married. I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.” No one quite knows where the girls are located right now, but they are reportedly being sold to religious extremists and trafficked to Chad and Cameroon, neighboring countries in Africa. Keep reading »
It’s been two weeks since 234 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school and they are no closer to being found. The kidnapping is believed to be orchestrated by a group of Islamist militants called Boko Haram (whose name translates to “Western Education Is Sine”), though they have yet to claim responsibility for the mass abduction. Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and is especially opposed to education for girls.
The girls, ages 15-18, were kidnapped at gunpoint on April 16 when militants stormed the Government Girls’ Secondary School boarding school in Chibok, in the rural northeastern state of Borno. Their school was the only one still open in the area; all other nearby schools were closed due to security threats. Despite the presence of guards, the girls were taken at gunpoint, loaded into trucks and carted off to the nearby Sambisa forest. Not much has been done by Nigerian security leaders to ensure the girls’ rescue, and their families have received little information.
It’s a tragic, gut-wrenching story that we wish was getting more international attention from world leaders. Here are five essential things to know about the kidnapping. Keep reading »
An Oregon man was arrested for kidnapping after he allegedly forced his girlfriend at knifepoint to go with him to Las Vegas and get married. Thomas Martin Pfeiffer allegedly threatened his girlfriend and their 22-month-old baby to get in a car with him so they could all drive to Vegas together. But Virginia Valdez hopped out of the car at a truck stop, lay down in the middle of the road, and started screaming. Now that’s a bride who does not want to get married. (However, I’m not sure I completely believe the story here. It seems to me like there are much more pernicious reasons to kidnap your girlfriend and child than getting married.) [Seattle Times] [Image of Las Vegas wedding chapel via Shutterstock]
Investigators in Europe say they have found the biological parents of Maria, a young girl living with a Roma couple who claimed the child was given away to them years ago, by successfully matching her DNA to two Bulgarians. Keep reading »