Shekau-Led Boko Haram Releases Video Showing Abducted Katsina Students

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Boko Haram on Thursday released a video confirming that it has custody of the students abducted from a government secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, Humangle reports.

In the six-minute-and-30-second footage, tens of young boys could be seen bloodied and distraught, all covered in dust and appearing to be within a forest area.

It featured speeches from Abubakar Shekau and a relatively older schoolboy who spoke, urging the Nigerian Government to settle amicably with their abductors and advised against the use of military force in rescuing them.

“Please, you have to dissolve any gang of vigilantes, close any kind of schools, excluding Islamiyyah [Qur’anic schools]. All the troops who have come here to help us, please send them back,” one of the abducted schoolboys pleaded in the released video.

The schoolboys were abducted by the Islamist extremist group in their dormitories on Friday, December 11 drawing global condemnation. On Monday, December 14, the sect members released an audio claiming responsibility for the abduction.

Katsina state authorities reported approximately 320 remained missing on Tuesday, the same day Boko Haram claimed responsibility for their abduction. The state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said 839 boys were enrolled at the school, according to ABC News.

It’s not clear how many students were at the school at the time of the raid, nor how many eluded the kidnappers. On Monday, the state governor said the abductors “have made contacts with the government”. Taking to Twitter, he wrote without identifying the kidnappers, “Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families.”

A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force, and army, according to the government. The army said on Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was underway.

In April 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were taken from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School in Chibok in Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing.

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