(Christian Solidarity Worldwide) — A faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the abduction of students from their school in Katsina state on Dec. 11, while gunmen in Niger state who murdered a pastor and abducted his wife have demanded a large sum for her safe return. Both developments highlight rising insecurity in northwest Nigeria.
In a brief audio tape sent to the Nigerian media house HumAngle on Dec. 15, the Boko Haram faction leader Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the abduction of boys from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area (LGA) on Dec. 11.
Shekau asserted that the action was carried out “to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet.”
The terrorist group later stated that it is holding 523 boys, a figure more or less in line with the testimony of an escapee who was made to count his colleagues, but which contradicts earlier statements by the local authorities and the federal government that put the number of missing boys at 333 and 10 respectively.