Nigeria: Boko Haram kidnaps 30 more children
Around 30 children were abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants during a siege on a village in northeast Nigeria, a local chief said on Sunday.
Alhaji Shettima Maina, who leads the village of Mafa in Borno state, said insurgents "grabbed young people, boys and girls" during an attack on Thursday.
"They took all boys aged 13 and above ...and all girls aged 11 and above," he added.
"They took them away to their base in the bush, and we believe they are going to use them as foot soldiers."
According to AFP, Maina said he had "pleaded for help from the Nigerian government" but has received none so far.
Earlier this month, it was announced that a ceasefire had been agreed with Boko Haram and a deal had been reached to release over 200 girls and young women taken from their school in Chibok, also in Borno state, in April this year.
Government spokesman Mike Omeri said the deal covered the release of the captives and Boko Haram had given assurances "that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well".
However, Boko Haram has not yet confirmed the ceasefire and the latest kidnapping has dampened hopes of their safe return.
In a Human Rights Watch report released today, Africa director Daniel Bekele said the Nigerian government and its allies "need to step up their efforts and put an end to these brutal abductions".
The organisation estimates that more than 7,000 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since their uprising in 2009.
"Abuses by Boko Haram and inadequate responses by the government are leaving many people in northern Nigeria beset by fear and anguish," Bekele said.
"The government and its allies need to step up their protection, support services, and prosecutions of abuses on both sides to stop this cycle of terror."