Nigeria Boko Haram: Search stepped up for 110 kidnapped schoolgirls

The Federal Government had earlier confirmed that 110 students could not be accounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Information minister Lai Mohammed made the announcement about the girls still being missing on Sunday after holding meetings with family members.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional air assets, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, to the North East in a renewed effort at locating the missing Dapchi girls.

Nigeria's President said no effort would be spared to locate them.

Last week, suspected Boko Haram gunmen dressed in camouflage descended on the town of Dapchi in Yobe state, north-east Nigeria, firing weapons as they set upon the school and forcing hundreds of students to flee in panic.

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Frustrated and angry parents of the missing girls have since announced plans to join the Bring Back Our Girls movement that was launched in 2014 when 270 girls were adbucted in the town of Chibok.

Nigeria's government has repeatedly claimed in the past year that Boko Haram has been defeated, but the group continues to carry out deadly suicide bombings and other attacks. When our daughters were abducted in Chibok, only God understood how I felt and I can imagine how you also feel, and the trauma you are going through. "We are sorry that this could have happened".

While it appears that many students at the school did go into hiding, Mr Manzo said those children are now back with their families. "Now they are telling me she is missing", said the distraught father.

The fate of the girls is not known, but witnesses said the Islamic extremists specifically asked where the girls' school was located after the raid in Dapchi, Yobe state.

Yobe state government added to the confusion when it said on Wednesday that dozens of the girls had been rescued, only to issue a statement the next day saying the schoolgirls were mostly still unaccounted for, sparking anger among locals.

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"We should remain in prayers with a strong hope that these girls are rescued as quickly as possible". We should remain prayerful in this time and Insha Allah peace shall return to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and all other parts of the country. They later admitted that the claim was based on information that was "not credible" and had been provided by "one of the security agencies involved in the fight against Boko Haram".

"When I met the Theatre commander on why the military were withdrawn, he said they have shortage of manpower".

"What people are most angry with", Gombe said, "is how the government has handled the situation".

"Neither denial, nor conspiracy theory as was done in the case of Chibok girls abduction under PDP-led Federal Government".

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  • Ryan Wade