21, February 2018
A total of 111 schoolgirls are missing after Boko Haram Takfiri militants attacked Dapchi village in northeast Nigeria, police say.
“Eight hundred and fifteen students returned to the school and were visibly seen, out of 926 in the school,” the police minister of Yobe state, Abdulmaliki Sumonu, told reporters on Wednesday. “The rest are missing. No case of abduction has so far been established.”
Earlier in the day, two sources said that a roll-call at the girls’ school in the village on Tuesday showed that 91 students were absent.
“I saw girls crying and wailing in three Tata vehicles and they were crying for help,” a witness from the nearby village of Gumsa, who was reportedly forced to show the terrorists the way out of the area and then released, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, seven parents said 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.
The two sources, several parents and other local witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity as Nigerian security and government officials warned them not to disclose the disappearance.
Eyewitnesses said on Monday that a convoy of pickup trucks belonging to Boko Haram descended on Dapchi in the Bursari area of Yobe state around 6 p.m. (1700 GMT). The militants went directly to the Girls Science Secondary School, and began shooting sporadically, forcing students and teachers to flee, according to the witnesses.
Since 2009, the Boko Haram militancy has left at least 20,000 dead and made over 2.6 million others homeless.
If confirmed, the girls’ disappearance would be one of the largest since the Takfiri terrorist group kidnapped more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014. The mass kidnapping triggered global condemnation and intense criticism of Nigerian officials in the country as well as an international “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign.
Of the 276 originally abducted students, nearly 60 escaped soon after the incident and others have since been released after mediation. Some 100 are still believed to remain in captivity.