Schoolgirl abducted in Nigeria describes her escape

Nearly three weeks ago, in northern Nigeria, high school girls - possibly more than 200 of them - were kidnapped from their school in a remote village.

Many local officials are too scared to go to the village because of attacks by Islamic extremists - and it makes it difficult to get reliable information. That is partly why there has been such a discrepancy in the numbers of how many girls have been taken.

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Distraught relatives of the missing girls say the government has done too little to find them
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It's been 19 days since the school girls were kidnapped. In desperation, parents and friends have taken to the streets to protest, accusing the Nigerian government of doing nothing to rescue their daughters.

"We want to see our daughters come back alive and we want to see them now," one woman shouted.

The teenage girls were snatched at night by heavily armed gunmen. They were taken from their boarding school in Chibok which was burnt to the ground.

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The attackers are believed to have been from Boko Haram, a militant group inspired by al Qaeda
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A small group managed to flee from their captors.

"We thought they were soldiers and they told us to get in the truck," said one girl who escaped. "But my friends and I jumped from the truck and ran back home because they didn't look innocent to us."

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Parents and relatives protest
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The attackers are believed to be members Boko Haram - a militant al Qaeda-inspired group that wants its own Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

The name means "Western Education Is Forbidden," and it has planted bombs at schools and killed students before. Its campaign of terror has grown increasingly violent over the past five years - and has now spread to the capital.

Chillingly the abductions may not be the worst part of this story. Unconfirmed reports from local officials say that some the girls may have been sold into forced marriages with Boko Haram militants.

  • Debora Patta

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