On Monday, Boko Haram Islamists ascended onto a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria and abducted over 100 schoolgirls. By Wednesday, only eight of the 129 abducted school girls were still missing, according to the Nigerian military.
“They forced us into trucks, buses and vans, some of which were carrying foodstuffs and petrol. They left with us in a convoy into the bush,” said a student among the girls who escaped and who declined to be named for security reasons. “A group of motorcyclists flanked the convoy to ensure none of us escaped.”
A series of vehicle breakdowns forced the abductors to transfer some of the girls from one van to another, “some of us jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the bush. We later found our way back to Chibok,” she said, referring to the northeastern town where her school is located.
Distraught parents of the abducted girls anxiously waited for news, many of them crowded outside the burned home of the Chibok district administrator.
The gunmen burned homes and businesses in the town as they fled with the girls, witnesses said.
“We are calling on the government to do everything possible to track these people and save your daughters from them. They should not allow our daughters’ dreams to be shattered by these murderers,” said the mother of one abducted girl.
A statement from the office of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said he ordered security forces “to deploy maximum efforts” in rescuing the girls and welcomed reports of some rescues.
“President Jonathan deeply regrets the pain, sorrow and anguish brought upon many Nigerian families in recent days as a consequence of recurring security challenges which the nation is contending with,” the statement said.
This latest incident was just one of several violent acts Boko Haram has been responsible for this week in Nigeria.