World Bulletin/News Desk
Boko Haram militants have reportedly abducted over 200 people, including several women, from Bintiri village in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state.
"The militants invaded the village and took around 200 people, including women and able-bodied men," Jubrin Gunda, a spokesman for the civilian Joint Task Force, an influential local vigilante group, told Anadolu Agency by phone on Thursday.
He said the incident had been reported to the provincial security authorities.
"[Forced] conscription of men is clearly a desperate bid by the militants to shore up their fighting force, which we know has been depleted in recent months," said Gunda.
More than 200 schoolgirls remain in the hands of Boko Haram since they were abducted from their dormitories in Borno State's town of Chibok in mid-April.
Meanwhile, at least 12 people, mostly villagers, were killed in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State when suspected Boko Haram insurgents ambushed a commercial vehicle, local vigilantes have said.
"They were in two vehicles heading in another direction when the commercial vehicle carrying 14 passengers ran into them," Hamid Babayo, a young member of a local vigilante group, told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
"They ambushed the vehicle and rounded up the passengers before opening fire on all of them, except for a lady and a girl who they took," he said, adding that the insurgents then set the vehicle ablaze.
According to Babayo, the incident occurred at Cross-Kawa, a remote settlement near the Nigerian border in northern Borno State.
The attack appears to be a return to a tactic used earlier by the insurgents, who in recent months have focused on raiding communities and seizing villages.
In June of last year, Boko Haram militants ambushed a commercial vehicle on Bama Road, a major highway along central Borno, killing at least 11 passengers, mostly grain traders. Since then, no major attacks on motorists have been recorded.
Nigeria continues to battle a five-year insurgency in the country's northeast.
An emboldened Boko Haram recently stepped up its militant activity, seizing several areas across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
In November alone, Nigerian Security Tracker, an NGO, estimated that more than 200 people had been killed in attacks and bombings – all linked to Boko Haram – across the country's north.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima recently said that, this year alone, more than 3,000 people had been killed and over two million displaced in Borno due to the insurgency.
Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, Boko Haram first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption.
It became violent after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 14:41