Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria have kidnapped more than 400 young women and children from Damasak, according to residents of the town.
A top Nigerian official later confirmed to the AP that several hundred people were abducted. Locals said the Islamist militants killed dozens of the people they captured, before fleeing with the rest of them.
In Damasak, Souleymane Ali told Reuters: “They took 506 young women and children. They killed about 50 of them before leaving.”
Boko Haram, which also abducted 300 schoolgirls in the region last April, wants to create a caliphate in northern Nigeria. Nigerian, Niger and Chad forces have driven out the militants from a series of towns in offensives over the past month.
Troops from Niger distributed food and blankets to residents of Damasak, which was recently retaken from Boko Haram control.
A recent sharp rise in violence led to the Nigeria’s presidential election being rescheduled. The vote is now due to take place Saturday, March 28.
[This story has been edited from the source material.]
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