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  • 24 June 2014, 10:48

Nigeria Militants 'Kidnap More Boys And Girls'

Suspected Boko Haram militants have abducted 31 boys and 60 girls and women in northeast Nigeria, it has been claimed.

Four local residents were reportedly killed when the Islamic extremists took the hostages in several attacks in Borno state.

Aji Khalil, from a local anti-Boko Haram vigilante group in Kummabza, said the kidnappings took place there on Saturday.

Nigeria's defence headquarters in the capital, Abuja, said in a tweet that it had "yet to confirm the several reports on the abduction of girls in Borno as at now".

The Nigerian government and military have widely criticised for their slow response to Boko Haram's abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April and kidnappings since then.

Boko Haram has been demanding the release of its detained members in exchange for hostages, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not consider a swap.

Steps to rescue the girls appear to have stalled, with Nigeria's military saying it knows where they are but fearful they will be killed if an attempt is launched to free them.

The abduction has also been dogged by politics, ahead of presidential elections next year, with the premier's wife and other supporters even claiming the kidnappings had been fabricated to discredit the President.

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