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Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolboys Say Ransom Was Paid, Tell of Beatings

Freed captives recount mistreatment by Boko Haram, as group’s terrorism and criminality appear to coalesce
Video: Nigerian Schoolboys Meet Officials After Being Freed by Kidnappers
More than 300 schoolboys were received by government officials in Nigeria after being released by their captors. Jihadist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for kidnapping them a week ago. Photo: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

By Joe Parkinson and Gbenga Akingbule Dec. 23, 2020

KATSINA, Nigeria—It was on the third day in captivity that the Lawal brothers thought they would be executed.

Exhausted and hungry, their bare feet lacerated after long marches at gunpoint through a dense forest with more than 300 abducted schoolmates, 16-year-old Anas and 17-year-old Buhari were ordered by their kidnappers to answer a question.

“Is your family poor?” said one of the gunmen, much of his face masked by a turban. “If they are, we will kill you now. They won’t be able to afford the ransom,” he said.

The brothers, whose father, Abubakar Lawal, is a construction-industry consultant with an income of $100 a month—middle class by the region’s standards—said nothing and stared at the ground.

“We thought they would kill us there and then,” said Anas.

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Church In Nigeria At Christmas

Dec 25, 2020

Suspected Boko Haram terrorists have attacked the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria Church (Church of the Brethren) at Pemi village in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, killing at least five person.

The ugly incident occurred on Thursday when the attackers also burnt down many houses, cars, and motorcycles in the community.A source told SR that the gunmen set the church on fire and waited until it burnt down before they left.

He said the terrorists struck around 6 pm, though information about the incident did not reach the military until 9 pm.

The source added that fleeing villagers spent the night out in the cold till this morning.It was gathered that the gunmen also invaded Debro community, shooting sporadically.

The attack comes exactly a year after six people were killed and three wounded by Boko Haram insurgents in Kwaaagilim village, also in Chibok Local Government Area.

More than 40,000 people have been killed and nearly 3 million displaced in a decade of Boko Haram terror activities in the country.