Boko Haram militants in Nigeria seem to be going after anyone who helps the country find the missing 200+ school girls who were abducted nearly a month ago.
On Monday, the group – whose name means “Western education is sin” – attacked Gamboru Ngala, a remote state capital near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon that was being used as a staging ground for troops during the search. Some of the at least 310 victims were burned alive when the militants fired rocket-propelled grenades into a marketplace crowd and tossed improvised explosive devices, according to witnesses.
Witnesses also say Boko Haram blew the roof off a police station killing 14 police officers.
The U.S., Britain, France, and China have promised to help Nigeria find the girls.
“Every day when I wake up and I think about young girls in Nigeria or children caught up in the conflict in Syria, when there are times in which I want to reach out and save those kids,” said President Obama Wednesday night in Los Angeles. “And having to think through what levers, what powers do we have at any given moment, I think drop by drop by drop that we can erode and wear down these forces that are so destructive.”
U.S. intelligence officials believe the 276 girls abducted last month have been separated, but they also tell CNN it’s unlikely U.S. combat troops will be in involved in operations against Boko Haram.
Nigerian police announced a reward of about $310,000 for information leading to the girls’ rescue. The U.S. calls Boko Haram a terror organization and has placed a $7 million bounty on its leader, Abubakar Shekau.