Takfiri Boko Haram militants have attacked a village in northeast Nigeria, unsuccessfully attempting to kidnap girls at a boarding school there.
Eyewitnesses said on Monday that a convoy of pickup trucks belonging to Boko Haram militants descended on Dapchi Village in the Bursari area of Yobe State around 6 pm (1700 GMT).
“When they stormed the village, they began shooting and setting off explosives,” said resident Sheriff Aisami. “This drew the attention of the girls in the Girls Science Secondary School, so the girls and the teachers were able to escape before the attackers got into the school.”
Unable to kidnap the girls, the Boko Haram fighters looted the school before fleeing.
It was not clear whether the violence caused any casualties.
“Obviously, the attack was meant to abduct school girls, but luckily they found none of the girls as they were taken away by teachers before they (the militants) arrived,” said a member of a local civilian militia battling the extremists.
Boko Haram notoriously kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April 2014.
Separately, Nigeria’s Justice Ministry announced on Monday that more than 200 people have been convicted in Nigeria on charges related to involvement with Boko Haram.
The convictions of 205 people in mass trials marked the conclusion of the second stage of the country’s biggest legal action against Boko Haram, which began a militancy in 2009 aimed at toppling the government.
“Most of them were convicted for professing to belong to the terrorist group, (or) concealing information about the group which they knew or [were] believe[d] to be of material assistance that could lead to the arrest, prosecution or conviction of Boko Haram members,” the Justice Ministry said in a statement.
Jail terms ranged from three to 60 years, said the ministry.
It also said a total of 526 people allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram had been released for rehabilitation during the second stage, and said 73 cases had been adjourned.
Since 2009, the Boko Haram militancy has left at least 20,000 dead and made over 2.6 million others homeless.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, came to power in 2015 on a platform of stamping out the Boko Haram militancy. But despite retaking swathes of territory from the group, it continues to stage attacks targeting both civilians and military targets.
By Africafrique and Agencies