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Boko Haram kidnaps 40 boys, men in northern Nigerian Borno state

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Kano (Jan. 03, 2015): Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have kidnapped 40 boys and young men in a remote village in northeast Nigerian Borno state on New Year’s Eve, residents who fled the isolated settlement said.

Boko Haram militants stormed the Malari village around 8:00 pm (local time) and whisked away the males, aged between 10 and 23, into the nearby Sambisa forest, believed to be one of the Islamists’ major bases. The news of the abductions came out only days later, after residents who fled the village arrived in the state capital Maiduguri late yesterday.

Boko Haram has been abducting young men from villages in the area as the villagers are close to their stronghold in Sambisa forest. There was no immediate comment on the incident from the military in Maiduguri. Residents of Malari and nearby villages fled, fearing further attacks and abductions. Boko Haram has recently been seizing young men during raids on area villages to use as foot soldiers in its uprising aimed at establishing an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, locals said.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen launched a deadly raid Tuesday on Kautikari village near Chibok, torched several buildings and killed as many as 15 people, according to witnesses. There was no toll available from an official source on the raid. Boko Haram is still holding in captivity more than 200 schoolgirls it abducted from their school in Chibok in Borno state last April. Boko Haram’s five-year uprising in Nigeria has claimed more than 13,000 lives and has seen dozens of people, including women and children, kidnapped by the Islamists.