The leader of Boko Haram says his group has started kidnapping women and children as part of its bloody guerrilla campaign against the federal government, according to a video released Monday.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says the kidnappings are retaliation for Nigerian security forces routinely imprisoning the wives and children of his group’s members. The video shows 12 children, a mix of boys and girls, though it does not identify them or say where they came from.
“If they do not leave our wives and children, we will not leave,” Shekau says in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north.
Police and security forces have not announced any kidnapping cases involving Nigerians taken after Boko Haram attacks, though such abductions could be easily done in the chaos after an assault. Shekau quoted the Quran in the video and said anyone taken by the group could begin a new life as a “servant,” without going into detail.
Nigerian security forces often arrest children and wives to draw out criminal suspects in other matters, human rights activists say. Security forces also have been accused of abuses in their fight against Islamic extremists.
In the video, a Kalashnikov assault rifle sits over Shekau’s right shoulder as he speaks, the background covered with a rug. It’s unclear when the video was shot, though Shekau claims attacks Boko Haram launched on the towns of Bama and Baga in northeastern Nigeria in recent days.
Source: Yahoo News