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Insurgents blow up 2nd bridge, abduct wife, 2 kids


YOLA, Nigeria (AP) -- Islamic extremists blew up a bridge, killed an unknown number of people and abducted the wife and two children of a retired police officer in northeast Nigeria, residents said Saturday as an international effort got underway to rescue 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants.

News of Friday night's attack came amid growing condemnation by Muslims in Nigeria and abroad, and by some Islamic militants online, against the Boko Haram terrorist network and its acts.

A team of French experts arrived Saturday in Nigeria to help look for the girls, said an official in President Francois Hollande's office in Paris. He said they are expert in collecting intelligence from technical and human sources and in image analysis.

British security experts arrived Friday to join Nigerian and American forces, and Britain said its aim is not only to help in the crisis over the girls but to defeat Nigeria's homegrown Boko Haram terrorist network.

British, US Experts Join Nigeria Search For Girls

International outrage at the prolonged failure of Nigeria's military to rescue the girls was joined Saturday by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. In a radio address on the eve of the Sunday honoring mothers in the United States she said she and President Barack Obama are "outraged and heartbroken" over the April 15 mass abduction.

"In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters," Mrs. Obama said, referring to Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. "We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now."

One of them, the Rev. Enoch Mark, described his despair and anger at the military for not yet finding his two abducted daughters. "For a good 11 days, our daughters were sitting in one place," he told The Associated Press. "They camped them near Chibok (the town from which they were abducted), not more than 30 kilometers, and no help in hand. For a good 11 days."

He said it is all "very painful. I know my daughter, very obedient and very religious ... she wanted to be a doctor."

A well-known Nigerian Islamic scholar meanwhile warned that having foreign soldiers on Nigerian soil could escalate the conflict and draw foreign extremists to the West African nation. Ahmed Mahmud-Gumi, speaking in northern Kaduna city on Friday, said it "may trigger waves of terrorism never seen before."

"Foreign terrorists are eager to engage foreign forces, making Nigeria just another battle ground" like Afghanistan and Iraq, he said.

Former Nigerian military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida urged the country's Muslims to rise up against the extremists sullying the name of Islam.

"Islam enjoins you to live peacefully with fellow human beings. ... Therefore, anybody who will come and smear our name, all Muslims should kick against that. Muslims should also do everything possible to stop this continued blackmail against the religion of Islam. We must prepare to fight it," he said in an interview Saturday with the BBC Hausa Service. Hausa is the most popular language in northern Nigeria.

From Doha, Qatar, the International Union for Muslim Scholars condemned "the terrible crimes offensive to Islam" and said the actions of Boko Haram "are very far from Islamic teachings."

It called on Boko Haram to immediately release the girls, saying that threats to sell them into slavery are against Islamic Shariah law. Boko Haram has said it wants to enforce Shariah law across the entire country though Nigeria's population of 170 million is divided almost equally between Christians and Muslims. Shariah is pursued to varying degrees in most northern states.

The Nigerian extremists also were condemned in online conversations at jihadi forums. "There is no justification for kidnapping girls and children," one member wrote. "Prophet Muhammed prohibited killing women or even scaring them. Do those who carried out this act know that they are defying God's orders?"

In the Saudi city of Jeddah, the 56-country Organization of Islamic Cooperation said it is mobilizing for a meeting next week that will focus on groups like Boko Haram that are part of "the growing phenomenon of dangerous extremist groups who hijacked Islam and are committing crimes in the name of religion."

In Nigeria's northeast war zone, local government chairman Abawu James Watharda said no one could count the dead because 3,000 survivors have fled Friday night's attack on the town of Liman Kara.

Fleeing residents say the insurgents blew up the bridge that links the states of Adamawa and Borno that are under a military state of emergency to halt the Islamic uprising. That would cut off any military vehicles attempting a hot pursuit.

On Monday, militants destroyed a bridge linking Nigeria to neighboring Chad, where it has hideouts in mountain caves.

There were no details about the latest children to be abducted. The Boko Haram terrorist network has said that its abductions of family members of Nigerian officials is a tit-for-tat measure since Nigeria's military and police often detain the spouses and children of wanted suspects, holding them hostage until the suspect surrenders.

Boko Haram has staged many attacks in northeastern Nigeria over the years, a campaign of bombings and massacres that has intensified in recent times despite a strong military offensive. Since May 2013 there has been a state of emergency in three northeastern Nigerian states covering one-sixth of the country.

Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 people this year, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.


Michelle Faul reported from Lagos. Associated Press writers Jamey Keaten in Paris, Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, Godwin Isenyo in Kaduna, Nigeria, contributed to this report.

Join the discussion

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lflz28 May 10 2014 at 10:58 PM

Just like the good old days 1,000 years ago back then as today they cover the faces and make the kidnap victems walk 10 feet behind the abductor not allowed to talk so there can be no ID made

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1 reply
lflz28 lflz28 May 10 2014 at 11:00 PM

Oh yea and they call the female cover up part ot the religin

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1 reply
runonmd1 lflz28 May 11 2014 at 1:32 AM

"Religin"? Back to school, fool!

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charlie4562r May 10 2014 at 11:47 PM

These sicko's are real chicken Sh..s hiding behind a hijab screen, they aren't even men, they are lower than pigs and should donate their balls to Eid al-Adha!!

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David Sessoms May 10 2014 at 11:57 PM

Let's start a campaign to change the name "Terrorists" to "Cowardists"....They do not need the encouragement of a fearsome name but one that fits their acts...

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1 reply
Frank David Sessoms May 11 2014 at 12:19 AM

Very good idea.

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ccp791 May 11 2014 at 12:03 AM

A team of French experts arrived Saturday in Nigeria to...what? sample the wine?

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akonabum May 11 2014 at 12:06 AM

Hey if Hashtag Horseface doesnt scare those terrorists..Send george clooney and the Kenya Klown., they can draw a red line..that'll do it.!

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1 reply
temeculapaul akonabum May 11 2014 at 12:11 AM

So you hate the First Lady and Obama more than you hate kidnappers? Perhaps you should do some soul searching.

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1 reply
akonabum temeculapaul May 11 2014 at 12:19 AM

I dont hate anyone. I know a Phony. and you are a phony. and so is the horse face Moochele, and the Kenya Klown. and you> and you know it too!!

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wdlraven May 11 2014 at 12:13 AM

You will not see the so called "Moderate Muslim" rush in and save the girls...They are either in bed with the terrorists or cowards....They will leave the job to the much hated "White Man".

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1 reply
temeculapaul wdlraven May 11 2014 at 12:16 AM

"News of Friday night's attack came amid growing condemnation by Muslims in Nigeria and abroad..."

Try reading the second paragraph before leaving an ignorant comment.

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1 reply
wdlraven temeculapaul May 11 2014 at 12:34 AM

YOU...My friend are the IGNORANT one if you think for one second that "Moderate Muslims" will rush to the scene to save the girls...YOU are a classic head in the mud Liberal.

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The Riley's May 11 2014 at 12:19 AM

Hashtag should talk to her husband. If the world still had any respect for America our President could tell them to let them go and they would be free. But, alas they just laugh at this idiot. They understand that his foreign policy is to just talk to these evil cowards and everything will be alright. Looks like it working very well all over the world, i.e. Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia etc. Do you think someone should tell him to deal with evil you need to be a little evil yourself. Unleashing the Navy SEALS on these cowards would send a message that this type of thing is unacceptable anywhere in the world, but no big mouth is still convinced that if he just needs talks to them. Sorry girls.

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5 replies
bingogeorge4 May 11 2014 at 12:24 AM

Hillary Clinon refused to list this group as Terroist.

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1 reply
Susan Burns bingogeorge4 May 11 2014 at 1:09 AM

Really?? Where is your proof....

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1 reply
mark and sheri Susan Burns May 11 2014 at 1:17 AM

Reported on many news sites, referencing attempts by Congress to list them as Terrorist. The problem was the "narrative", that because Bin Laden was dead, "terrorist" organizations magically disappeared.

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tallywg May 11 2014 at 12:27 AM

Just when you think nothing could be lower than a cesspool, one hears of Boko Haram. Heck, maybe lower than a cesspool is the translation!

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HIGHPOWER May 10 2014 at 11:40 PM

Hillary was begged to acknowledge this group several times but refused. Its hard to acknowledge a group as Islomic Terrorist when your telling the world they don't exist.

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1 reply
Elaine Finn HIGHPOWER May 10 2014 at 11:43 PM

She did put the three terrorists on the list,but not the entire group.

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1 reply
HIGHPOWER Elaine Finn May 10 2014 at 11:59 PM

Looks like she should have put the entire group on the list like was suggested to her several times.

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