Nigeria: with the kidnapping of high school students in Kankara, Boko Haram unveils its new expansion

Abubakar Shekau, jihadist leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria, in a video dated May 12, 2014. AP - TEL

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The Boko Haram group claimed this Tuesday, December 15, for the kidnapping of at least 333 high school students in Katsina State, in northwestern Nigeria.

This mass kidnapping, which recalls the kidnapping of 276 high school girls from Chibok in 2014 in Borno State, is the first event of this magnitude in western Nigeria, until then spared by the jihadist threat.

In the country, it is consternation, while this claim could mark a turning point in the expansion of the group.


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With our correspondent in Lagos,

Liza Fabbian

The only crime of

high school students in Kankara

is to have gone to public school and to have benefited from an education hated by Boko Haram.

After the demand for the kidnapping of more than 300 of them by the Nigerian jihadist Abubakar Shekau, two border regions of the state of Katsina announced the closure of their schools, considered too " 



► See also: Nigeria: Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram claims the kidnapping of high school students in Kankara

A statement of bitter failure, almost seven years after the

kidnapping of high school girls in Chibok

by Boko Haram, which had upset the whole world.

The group "Bring Back Our Girls", which had campaigned for the release of these young girls, today denounces " 

a new failure

 " of President Muhammadu Buhari, accused of " 

playing the ostrich

 " in the face of a very degraded security situation .

Posted by Bring Back Our Girls on Tuesday December 15, 2020

This is the first time that Abubakar Shekau has claimed an attack in this region, far from his traditional stronghold of Borno, in north-eastern Nigeria.

But this spectacular kidnapping was not necessarily carried out directly by Shekau's men.

Rather, it would have been "subcontracted" to one of the criminal groups that swarm in the region.

He might even have been initiated by one of them.

These well-organized “bandits” are seen as valuable relays by jihadist groups, who wish to gain their loyalty in order to serve their interests in the western regions of Nigeria.

"The jihadists are spreading their tentacles, making sure they no longer operate only in their small enclave, are outsourcing their struggle beyond northeastern Nigeria"

Idayat Hassan, director of the Center for Democracy and Development, think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria


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  • Nigeria

  • Boko Haram

  • Muhammadu Buhari

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Nigeria: Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram claims the kidnapping of high school students in Kankara