- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Suspected Islamic gunmen abducted about 100 female students from a secondary school in northeast Nigeria Tuesday morning before torching the surrounding town.

Gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school in the town of Chibok, in Borno state, then the gunmen took off with at least 100 girls, aged 16 to 18.

“Many girls were abducted by the rampaging gunmen who stormed the school in a convoy of vehicles,” said Emmanuel Sam, an education official, the Times of India reported.

The students were piled into the back of an open truck and an unspecified number of girls were able to jump out as the truck was moving.

The attackers are suspected to be members of Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group whose name means “Western education is forbidden.” Islamic extremists have been abducting girls in the northeast to use them as cooks and sex slaves.

Boko Haram has repeatedly attacked schools in the region during an insurgency that has killed thousands since 2009, the Times reported.

Increasing attacks forced all schools in Borno state to close three weeks ago, but the young women were recalled to take their final exams.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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