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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Nigeria Kidnappings

Nigerian kidnappers have demanded over $600K for the release of over 280 students taken hostage last week. At least 500 people have been kidnapped over the past two weeks in a crisis that has become increasingly common since the 2014 kidnapping by Boko Haram.

Last week, armed men stormed a school in Kuriga, a town in northern Nigeria, kidnapping over 280 students aged 8-15 (read one student's story). The attack was followed by the kidnapping of 15 schoolboys in northwestern Sokoto, and after more than 200 people were kidnapped in northeastern Borno.

The kidnappings may not be related; Islamist militant groups are active in the northeast, while rogue gangs have adopted hostage-for-ransom tactics across the north. It’s a criminal enterprise believed to yield upward of $5M to militants and gangs in recent years as Nigeria's military fails to cement control. An estimated 4,000 people were reportedly kidnapped last year.

Next month will mark 10 years since Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in northeastern Chibok, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Today, almost 100 remain unaccounted for. Read an overview.

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