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Suspected Nigerian Islamists kidnap 60 women from northeast - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Nigerians call on their government to rescue the girls taken from a secondary school in Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria  on October 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga File)

Nigerians call on their government to rescue the girls taken from a secondary school in Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria on October 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga File)

Kano, Nigeria, Bloomberg News—Suspected Boko Haram militants abducted 60 women from two villages in northeastern Nigeria, a security official said, less than a week after the government announced it had reached a truce with the Islamist group.

The women were taken over the weekend from the Madagali district of the northeastern state of Adamawa, the Nigerian security official said, asking not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to reporters.

The area has been under the militants’ control for about two months, the official said by phone, adding that the attackers entered the villages on motorbikes and in vans. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, based in the capital, Abuja, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone Thursday.

On October 17, the government said the Islamist group had signaled willingness to discuss the release of more than 200 schoolgirls that Boko Haram fighters abducted from the town of Chibok in April and threatened to sell into slavery.

Boko Haram, which roughly translates as “Western education is a sin,” has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009 in its campaign against the Nigerian state, President Goodluck Jonathan said last month, before the government announced it had agreed a cease-fire with the militants.

Since then, persistent violence in the northeast has eroded confidence in the cease-fire claim, with analysts and community leaders questioning the legitimacy of the reported deal.

“It’s our understanding that negotiations about a deal to release the girls continue,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on October 20.

Wednesday, Nigerian lawmakers completed the approval process for Jonathan’s request that the country borrow 1 billion US dollars to spend on beefing up its armed forces. Nigeria currently spends around 6 billion dollars a year on security.

At least five people were killed and 12 injured in a blast at a bus park in northeastern Nigeria yesterday, police said.

Authorities have begun investigating the explosion in the town of Azare in Bauchi state, about 370 miles (600 km) north of Abuja, police spokesman Haruna Mohammed said in an e-mailed statement.

“We heard a loud explosion at the motor park and we rushed to the area and found some people caught by the blast,” resident Muttaka Usman said by phone. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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