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You are here News International Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls taken as brides by militants, relatives told

Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls taken as brides by militants, relatives told

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Nigerian students soldFor two weeks, retired teacher Samson Dawah prayed for news of his niece Saratu, who was among more than 230 schoolgirls snatched by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Then on Monday the agonising silence was broken.

When Dawah called together his extended family members to give an update, he asked that the most elderly not attend, fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say. "We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants," Dawah told his relatives.

Saratu's father fainted; he has since been in hospital. The women of the family have barely eaten. "My wife keeps asking me, why isn't the government deploying every means to find our children," Dawah said. The marriage reports have not been confirmed officially, and rely on eyewitnesses.

The 14 April abduction of the girls – students aged between 16 and 18 who were sitting a physics paper at their school, one of a handful in troubled Borno state that had opened specially for final exams – shocked a nation inured to violence during a five year-insurgency.

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