World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerian police offered a 50 million naira ($300,000) reward on Wednesday to anyone who can give credible information leading to the rescue of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram rebels.
Last month's mass kidnapping by Boko Haram in the remote northeastern village of Chibok triggered an international outcry and protests in Nigeria, piling pressure on the government to get the girls back.
The offer comes after suspected Boko Haram rebls killed over 200 people in Gamboru Ngala, a Nigerian-Cameroon border settlement that is 200kms from Maiduguri, the provincial capital of the restive Borno State.
"Well over 200 people were massacred," Ahmed Zannah, a senator who represents Borno north in the parliament, told Anadolu Agency in a telephone interview on Wednesday morning.
He said some local sources had put the death toll as high as 300.
"They [militants] really had a field day. No soldier was around to stop them," added the lawmaker.
He said the militants had fed the security forces bad intelligence to leave the area.
"The gunmen had a field day having planted wrong intelligence that made soldiers leave the town for Lake Chad axis where the intelligence claimed the missing girls had been sighted," Senator Zannah said in an emotion-laden voice. "But it was all a decoy."
Nigerian forces are trying to trace scores of schoolgirls abducted last month by the Boko Haram group from the Government Girls Secondary School in Borno's Chibok area last month.
Na'allah Ibrahim, a resident of Gamboru Ngala, said the attackers were wearing military fatigue.
"They deployed heavy weapons like rocket propelled launchers, armored vehicles, petrol bombs and other explosive devices," he told AA by phone.
Ibrahim said the attackers had torched almost every house in sight, firing shots "in all directions as if they were at war."
"We are innocent citizens for God sake. Why are we being treated like we are war prisoners?" he cried.
Both Senator Zannah and Ibrahim said the attack occurred Monday night in the border town.
More Girls Abducted
Meanwhile, gunmen believed to be Boko Haram militants stormed on Monday Wala village - also in the Chibok local government where scores of girls were abducted on April 14 - and took away three more girls.
"They did not harm anyone but they just took away the girls and warned us not to tell anyone," Manuel Meshala, a local resident, told AA by phone.
"How can anyone have his daughter taken away without saying anything?"
Wala, known in full as Wala Kasa, is a village west of Gwoza, a hilly location close to Sambisa forest, the known fortress of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Isa Gusau, spokesman for the Borno state government, could not be reached for comment on the latest incident.
Nigeria accepts US help to rescue abducted girls
Nigeria accepted on Tuesday an offer from U.S. President Barack Obama to deploy security personnel and assets to help rescue scores of schoolgirls abducted last month by the Boko Haram militant group.
"President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed and accepted a definite offer of help from the U.S. in the ongoing effort to locate and rescue the girls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok three weeks ago," Reuben Abati, special adviser to the president, said in a statement mailed to Anadolu Agency.
According to the statement, the U.S. will deploy security personnel and assets to work with their Nigerian counterparts in the search and rescue operation.
On April 14, militants stormed the school in Chibok, located on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest, a known Boko Haram hideout.
They loaded scores of the schoolgirls onto trucks before driving away unhindered.
The exact number of the abducted schoolgirls remains dogged by controversy.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abductions in a new video released on Monday.Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2014, 14:42