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Nigeria ignored kidnap warning

09 May 2014, 18:27

Lagos - The country's military had advanced warning of the 14 April attack by Boko Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls but failed to take immediate action, Amnesty International said on Friday.

"Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings about Boko Haram's armed raid on the state-run boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction," the rights group said.

Amnesty said it had verified the information about the abduction with "credible sources".

"Amnesty International has confirmed... that Nigeria's military headquarters in Maiduguri was aware of the impending attack soon after 19:00 (18:00 GMT) on 14 April, close to four hours before Boko Haram began their assault on the town," the group said.

The military however could not assemble the troops needed to suppress the attack, "due to poor resources and a reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped" Islamists, according to Amnesty.

The 17 army personnel based in Chibok were overpowered by the attackers and had to retreat, the London-based group further said.

"The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram's impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime," said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International's Africa Director for research and advocacy.



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