Seventeen girls were abducted by Boko Haram extremists in northeast Nigeria on Thursday, witnesses told the Associated Press. The tragedy unfolded as jihadists stormed the village of Pemi, a town at the center of Boko Haram’s clashes with the government. The leader of Pemi, Hassan Chibok, said insurgents attacked a church and began “shooting sporadically after they rounded the community.” One resident said militants began carrying the children, some as young as 10, off to their vehicles. Chibok said nearly half the girls came from a single household. A spokesperson for the Nigerian military told AP, “The terrorists, in a desperate move, are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they could easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially. In 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 school girls from Chibok; 100 remain missing.
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