Suspected members of the deadly Boko Haram were said to have abducted 91females made up of young girls and women as well as 31 boys from Kummabza village, 150 kilometers from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state.
According to eye witnesses, the abductions took place on Saturday in an attack in which four villagers were killed.
Security forces have however denied the kidnappings even as Nigeria’s government and military are still contending with widespread criticism that they are yet to retrieve the over 200 female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state, abducted by Boko Haram over two months ago.
A Kummabza resident and member of one of the vigilante groups that have had some success in repelling Boko Haram attacks with primitive weapons, Aji Khalil confirmed the abduction of a new set of 91 females and 31 boys.
This is even as a senior local councilor from the village’s Damboa local government said that the there was truth in the latest abductions but that he was not authorized to give information to reporters.
He said that the elderly survivors of the attack had walked some 25 kilometers (15 miles) to the relative safety of other villages.
The Damboa council secretary, Modu Mustapha, said he could not confirm or deny the abductions and directed a reporter to the council chairman, Alamin Mohammed, who did not answer phone calls or respond to text messages.
Boko Haram has been demanding the release of detained members in exchange for its hostages but President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not consider a swap.
A strategy to rescue the girls appears to have reached an impasse. Nigeria’s military has said it knows where they are but fears their abductors would kill them if any military action is taken. [myad]