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Nigerian Schoolgirl Abductors Pretended to be Soldiers

Image: Abubakar Shekau, center, the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram
Abubakar Shekau, center, the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, flanked by two armed and hooded fighters in a video obtained by AFP on March 5, 2013.AFP - Getty Images, file

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Islamist rebels duped dozens of Nigerian schoolgirls into thinking they were soldiers carrying out an evacuation before abducting them in their latest anti-government raid, one of the survivors said Wednesday.

Parents of girls at the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok reportedly said the attackers ordered the teens onto four trucks, according to the BBC’s Hausa service. They then drove them into the dense Sambisa Forest.

Some of the girls escaped by jumping off the open truck as it was moving slowly along a road, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Others managed to escape by grabbing onto low-hanging tree branches, Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper reported.

The abduction was blamed on the Boko Haram terrorist network that is said to have killed more than 1,500 people in Nigeria this year alone.

Image: Abubakar Shekau, center, the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram
Abubakar Shekau, center, the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, flanked by two armed and hooded fighters in a video obtained by AFP on March 5, 2013.AFP - Getty Images, file

Boko Haram means "Western education is sinful" in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria. The group is loosely modeled after the Taliban and has connections with al Qaeda-linked militants in North Africa.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Henry Austin

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