Nigeria's New Casualties: Parents of Kidnapped Girls

11 dead as attacks, trauma-related illnesses take their toll
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2014 7:45 AM CDT
Nigeria's New Casualties: Parents of Kidnapped Girls
FILE-In this Monday, May 19, 2014 file photo, Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok, Nigeria. At least 11 parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again. Since the...   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba File)

Whether Nigeria's 219 kidnapped schoolgirls will ever come home to Chibok is an open question, but some of them will definitely never see their parents again. Seven fathers were killed this month in an attack on a nearby village, the AP reports, and heart failure, high blood pressure, and illnesses likely caused by trauma have claimed four more parents. "One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," says one community leader.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is demanding in a new video this week that the government free extremists in return for the girls. President Goodluck Jonathan continues to refuse. At the same time, the parents and Jonathan are again planning to meet after a failed attempt last week, the BBC reports. At the same time, the AP notes that militants are attacking villages surrounding Chibok and villagers fear they’re next; soldiers guarding the village reportedly aren’t helping. Resources are dwindling in Chibok as attack survivors swarm in. "There is a famine looming," says one community leader. (More Boko Haram stories.)

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