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Gunmen abduct eight more girls in northeast Nigeria: police



By Lanre Ola

(Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped eight girls from a village near one of the Islamists' strongholds in northeastern Nigeria overnight, police and residents said on Tuesday.

The abduction of the girls, aged 12 to 15, followed the kidnapping of more than 200 other schoolgirls by the militant group last month, whom it has threatened to sell into slavery.

Lazarus Musa, a resident of the village of Warabe, told Reuters that armed men had opened fire during the raid.

"They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army color. They started shooting in our village," Musa said by telephone from the village in the hilly Gwoza area, Boko Haram's main base.

A police source, who asked not to be identified, said the girls were taken away on trucks, along with looted livestock and food.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau threatened in a video released to the media on Monday to sell the girls abducted from a secondary school on April 14 "on the market".

The kidnappings by the Islamists, who say they are fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, have shocked a country long inured to the violence around the northeast.

They have also embarrassed the government before a World Economic Forum meeting on Africa, the annual gathering of the wealthy and powerful, in Abuja from May 7 to 9.

Nigerian officials had hoped the event would highlight their country's potential as Africa's hottest investment destination since it became the continent's biggest economy from a GDP recalculation in March. The forum has instead been overshadowed by the crisis over the girls, whose whereabouts remain a mystery.

That has thrown the government's failings on national security into the spotlight just when it sought to parade its achievements such as power privatization and economic stability to top global business people and politicians.

Boko Haram, the main security threat to Africa's leading energy producer, is growing bolder and appears better armed than ever.

"Many people tried to run behind the mountain, but when they heard gunshots, they came back," Musa said. "The Boko Haram men were entering houses, ordering people out of their houses."

In a separate attack early on Monday, suspected Boko Haram gunmen shot or hacked to death at least 13 people in a raid on a market town in the northeast, a survivor said.

April's mass kidnapping occurred on the day a bomb blast, also claimed by Boko Haram, killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja, the first attack on the capital in two years. Another bomb in roughly the same place killed 19 people last week.

NIGERIA ACCEPTS U.S. OFFER OF HELP

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed a U.S. offer to send an American team to Nigeria to support the government's efforts to find the girls, the Obama administration said on Tuesday.

"We're going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them," President Barack Obama told NBC News in an interview. "In the short term our goal is obviously is to help the international community, and the Nigerian government, as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies," he said.

In a separate interview with ABC News, Obama called the kidnappings heartbreaking and outrageous, and said: "This may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that's perpetrated such a terrible crime."

The United Nations warned Boko Haram that if the group carried out its leader's threat to sell the girls, it would forever be liable to prosecution for war crimes, even decades after the event.

"We warn the perpetrators that there is an absolute prohibition against slavery and sexual slavery in international law. These can ... constitute crimes against humanity," U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said in Geneva.

The military's inability to find the girls in three weeks has led to protests in the northeast, Abuja and Lagos, the commercial capital. More are expected on Tuesday in Abuja, just as delegates will be collecting their badges to allow them entry to the hotel where the WEF will take place.

British Foreign Minister William Hague reiterated an offer of help to Nigeria on Tuesday, after calling the abductions "disgusting and immoral".

Worsening violence so close to the capital has also put the spotlight on security arrangements for the WEF, with a few delegates cancelling, though organizers still expect most to arrive as planned.

Police and military units were deployed outside the Sheraton hotel, where delegates picked up credentials for the forum. A black pick-up truck carrying four men dressed in black with sub-machine guns patrolled, then sped off.

U.S.'s Outrage Over Nigeria Kidnappings

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Michael Shields in London and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by David Stamp, Anna Willard, Will Waterman, Peter Cooney and Andrew Hay)

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fernandezarthr May 07 2014 at 11:23 AM

......This problem in Nigeria is Radical Muslim on Stupid Muslim,.....the Radical have been in the picture for the longest,....they were supported by the stupid Muslims,........before we wanted to take care of Radical Muslims,...stupid Muslims, refuse to help or allow US to do the right thing,....Now,....Radical Muslim Kidnapped, stupid Muslims Daughters,......Today,.......Stupid Muslims want US, to,..Save,...The Stupid Muslim daughters,......from Radical Muslims,...............what is Next after we do!!!,......you can pretty much know the answer,......

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napa422 May 07 2014 at 1:07 PM

WHAT IS IT WITH THESE NIGERIAN SAVAGES??

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albatroll May 07 2014 at 1:09 PM

Where are the black "leaders" and politicians in this country? Why are they not talking about slavery in Africa? I know! Only whites can be slavers. Not one jesse race baiting jackson, or al the mouth sharpton, or any of the race baiting blacks in government including, barrybama and adolph holder, are talking about slavery in Africa their supposed country. What a bunch of sorry leftist pigs. They want to live in the past in this country instead of living in the present and working to end slavery. Who the hell do they think died to free the slaves in this country. Their ancestors did not. White people died to end slavery! Whites have done enough for the blacks in this country.

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1 reply
Spring albatroll May 07 2014 at 1:11 PM

Black people DID fight to end slavery so that is an incorrect statement.

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joe May 07 2014 at 1:21 PM

Thats ok because Obumma thinks muslims are the **** man. Obumma should go there and help a sista out.

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John Petrie May 07 2014 at 1:26 PM

You must remember that the Democrats were the slave owners, Democrats founded the KKK, Democrats enforced the Jim Crow laws. Democrats initially filibustered the Equal Right s Amendment. Democrats support abortion in the knowledge that more black babies are murdered than white babies. One of my lib friends was proud of this fact. He said that they would have ended up in jail otherwise. Murder tends to limit opportunity both good and bad.

If anyone thinks Obamacare will be egalitarian think again. The Democrats will invite blacks to perdition at a higher rate than whites. That has been their pattern why should it change.

The Democrats are today's Nazis.

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2 replies
Jim John Petrie May 07 2014 at 1:40 PM

You are one sick puppy. Seek help, if not for yourself then for those who may love you, if there are any.

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fall1999 John Petrie May 07 2014 at 1:45 PM

Leroy's too high on government-funded crack to care

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Jim May 07 2014 at 1:37 PM

One drone should do it.

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curt May 07 2014 at 1:38 PM

thank our gov for helping the nigerians hop they catch the terriost and kill them they are sick and the girls are retuned safely

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Cyndie May 07 2014 at 1:39 PM

"Embarrass the government?" This should not be about politics! It is about young girls being kidnapped, stealing the villages food and livestock, and shooting guns at them. The whole world should be outraged at this! Race, creed or anything else should not be the topic of conversation. The focus should be on getting those girls back where they belong. This is a criminal activity, not a political move! It is not about religious beliefs. Muslims will be enraged that this terrotist group is doing this "in the name of Allah." Their Allah would not condone these actions. This is pure evil! I am a Christian and am outraged when people that call themselves Christians display hate towards others, especially when they say they are doing God's work. This is a despicable act by terrorists that has nothing to do with God or Allah!

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2 replies
fall1999 Cyndie May 07 2014 at 1:43 PM

What about the hate directed towards Christians by Muslims and secular crackpots? Hope you're not part of the cesspool that confuses Marx for Christ.

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jeffnevar Cyndie May 07 2014 at 2:20 PM

It has everything to do with Allah, for Allah is Satan,

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fall1999 May 07 2014 at 1:42 PM

In a related story, LibTard female supremacists in this country still blaming Republicans and conservatives for their "war on women" while referring to Islam as "a religion of peace."

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1 reply
Spring fall1999 May 07 2014 at 1:44 PM

Do you realize what story you are posting your political comments on. This is about Children! Young women that were taken! Not your views on what Liberal women believe.

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1 reply
PowellTreeCare Spring May 07 2014 at 2:25 PM

Yeah - but you missed his point. It has to do with certain political affiliations insisting that Islam is a "religion of peace".

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dickn2000b May 07 2014 at 1:43 PM

I'm not one to advocate that the U.S. intervene in the affairs of foreign nations, but there are always a few exceptions to the rule. Somebody needs to stop these thugs once and for all. We need to send in a strike force and kill every one of these bloody bastards. This must be stopped!

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1 reply
PowellTreeCare dickn2000b May 07 2014 at 2:24 PM

Agreed. Completely and totally. I usually think we should keep our noses out of other countries businesses, but I absolutely agree that something must be done about this. This is precisely the kind of situation that warrants U.S. and ally intervention.

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