Now Boko Haram Has Kidnapped 40 Boys

Boko Haram attacks military base, kills scores of soldiers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2015 4:37 PM CST
Internally displaced children who fled their homes following an attack by Islamist militants in Nigeria run around a soccer ground at a camp in Yola, Nigeria, Friday Nov. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(Newser) – Boko Haram extremists have kidnapped about 40 boys and young men and killed scores of soldiers in a bold attack on a multinational military base in northeast Nigeria, according to fleeing residents and an intelligence officer. The militants came to the remote village of Malari yesterday and urged people to come out and listen to a sermon, farmer Bulama Malam told reporters today. "After telling us that they wanted to preach to us, they began to select young men aged between 12 and 25," Malam said. "I was lucky to escape because they only selected very young and able-bodied men."

Today, hundreds of the insurgents nearly overran the Multinational Joint Task Force base at Baga, on Nigeria's northeast border with Chad, an intelligence officer told the AP. Nigeria's homegrown Boko Haram group has launched several attacks across the border in Cameroon in recent weeks. The insurgents drew international condemnation with the April kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls; hundreds of other boys, girls, young men and women have been kidnapped by the group. Some who escaped say the males are forced to fight for Boko Haram, while females are used as sex slaves and suicide bombers.

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