In Agos, Nigeria, it’s being reported that a number of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls have been killed due to Nigerian military airstrikes. In a video that comes from Boko Haram Islamic extremists, a victim is shown pleading for authorities to release the detained militant members so that the girls can go free.
The video, which was posted Sunday via Twitter, shows a girl wearing a headscarf and identified as one of the 276 abducted school girls who was taken from northeastern Nigeria in April of 2014. Within the video, leaders show bodies of girls who were supposedly killed in the government-ordered air attacks. It includes words shared by one girl who claims that some of her kidnapped classmates were killed in the aerial airstrike by the Nigerian military. She also states that 40 of the girls have been “married” to Islamic extremist fighters.
Some Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram killed in air strikes https://t.co/1qJOySxprp
— TIME.com (@TIME) August 14, 2016
Posted by a Nigerian journalist by the name of Ahmad Salkida, and cited by SITE Intelligence Group, the video also shows a fighter who warns that should President Muhammadu Buhari’s government continue to battle Boko Haram with strikes and firepower, the schoolgirls will not be seen again.
The fighter appeared in front of more than 40 young women in headscarves and hijabs within the video stating the following.
“Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military.”
The New York Times notes that the military strikes by the Nigerian government are for the purpose of ridding the nation of Boko Haram extremists. Last year, the president had stated that he was open to negotiations but little has been agreed upon. Jeff Okoroafor, speaking for a group which holds regular rallies in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to demand the government find and rescue the girls, stated that some parents of the girls who were abducted are being asked to try to identify them in the video.
“We are still reaching out to some parents to see if any can recognize more.”
This latest video is among a handful that have been posted by Boko Haram online in recent days. The militant group appears to have split due to the killing over other Muslims and also because of disputes as to whether fellow believers should be allowed to live. The group is known for the abduction of the girls, yet have also been responsible for targeting mosques and markets with suicide bombers who are often young girls and boys. Hundreds of Muslims have been killed.
— Saleh Shehu Ashaka (@AshakaSaleh) August 14, 2016
The group pledged support to the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIL or ISIS, last year. Two main factions have emerged, as the New York Times reminds. One of these has been recognized by ISIS, which posted an interview between the leader of the group and Abu Masab al-Barnawi.
Analysts of the group’s behavior and practices state that the girls have been divided among the Boko Haram members and are dispersed among the Sambisa Forest, a region where the Nigerian military has now begun to place pressure against the militants in battle and via airstrikes.
Apparent Boko Haram Video Claims Some Schoolgirls Killed In Nigerian Airstrikes https://t.co/zHdDEai2Bz
— NPR (@NPR) August 14, 2016
The video is a reminder of the world these schoolgirls have been forced into. As the camera pans, viewers see a somber scene of girls wearing head scarves while at least one girl holds a baby, indicating that the girls are being forcibly married and birthing children for the fighters.
Earlier this year, the Nigerian military members found one of the Chibok girls wandering the forest. It is a sad circumstance for the young women who are depending on their government to free them.
[Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]