Islamic extremists have abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys from villages in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said Tuesday. But security forces are denying the kidnappings.

The latest round of kidnappings took place in  Kummabza on  Saturday in an attack in which four villagers were killed.  According to the Associated Press, a local villager verified that the abductions had occurred but insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to give information to reporters. He said elderly survivors of the attack had walked some 25 kilometers (15 miles) to the relative safety of other villages.

In April, over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped and the Nigerian government has seemingly stopped trying to locate them.

 Boko Haram has been demanding the release of detained members in exchange for its hostages but President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not consider a swap. The first lady, Patience Jonathan, and some other supporters have claimed the reports of the April abductions of the schoolgirls were fabricated to discredit her husband’s administration.

Also on Saturday, the same day as the latest abductions, scores of Boko Haram fighters attacked four other villages, near Chibok town from which the girls were kidnapped. Witnesses said at least 33 villagers were killed as well as six vigilantes and about two dozen Boko Haram fighters.

The group evolved five years ago from an Islamic sect preaching against the corruption that keeps most Nigerians impoverished despite their country’s oil wealth into a violent movement that wants to enforce Islamic law across Nigeria, though half the country’s 170 million people are Christians.

Its attacks have become more frequent and deadly, with more than 2,000 people estimated killed this year, compared to 3,600 in all the four previous years.

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  • Brownieluv

    This is getting worse and worse and not enough is being done at all. Are the people walking around not only worried about the abducted children, but about the safety of every other child?

  • Mary Burrell

    I don’t hear them talking about the girls anymore in the American news media. How quickly we forget.

  • This is sad situation. The President of Nigeria is doing a disgrace of a job from his delay to reacting and his other missteps. The abduction of the human beings are evil and wrong. Nigeria has experienced not only economic inequality plus religious tensions. In the final analysis, we are Brothers and Sisters irrespective of our creed. Nigeria has a lot of oil resources too. Boko Haram is a reactionary, extremist group that even mainstream Islamic groups have condemned. Those abducted should be found and also people in Nigeria should work together in ending religious tensions and handling economic inequality. Also, I have no problem with communities forming independent, self defense units (or democratic community and workplace defense committees) as a means to protect human beings. Others are right that it is a shame that some folks get caught up in things that don’t matter while some ignore the kidnapping of innocent human life.