Boko Haram kills dozens in attack on Nigerian market
Boko Haram militants have killed more than 30 people in an attack on a northeastern Nigerian market.
The BBC reports the gunmen opened fire on traders and customers Friday, creating chaos in the busy marketplace.
Nigeria's Leadership Newspaper characterized the attack as "a desperate quest by the insurgents to get food and related consumables," reporting that members of the group apparently "carted away food items and money from the traders."
"Hundreds of traders and residents fled the market in confusion," The Daily Post said, quoting a local who witnessed the attack, "while vehicles passing through the town were also making attempts to flee the town. It was such a confusion."
According to Leadership Newspaper, reports of an attack Friday were difficult to confirm because of telecommunications issues in the area.
This comes as CNN reports that the International Committee of the Red Cross was acting as mediator between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram to negotiate the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped back in April.
The Red Cross was trying to reach a deal where Nigeria would trade 30 captured Boko Haram commandos for the approximately 224 girls who are still being held captive.
An anonymous Red Cross official said that Boko Haram has assured the safety of the girls. "The two Boko Haram negotiators assured the ICRC and government negotiators that the girls were never raped, were never used as sex slaves and were never sexually assaulted."
News of these talks came as a bit of a surprise because Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has publicly maintained the government would never negotiate with the terror group.
The Telegraph writes that at one point the negotiators were close to reaching a deal, but Boko Haram wanted to trade the prisoners on a one-for-one agreement, while Nigeria wanted all the girls released.
News of the negotiations will bring some hope to the girls' families, many of whom believed they would never see their daughters again. There's no word yet on the progress of the negotiations.