Boko Haram Reportedly Captures 40 Boys

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In this May 12, 2014 file image from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network shows their leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera. Credit: AP

Boko Haram gunmen reportedly kidnapped 40 boys and young men, aged between 10 and 23, in a northeastern Nigerian village on New Year's Eve.

Scores of militants stormed the remote Malari village in the Borno state, according to AFP, before bringing the captives into the Sambisa forest.

The forest, considered to be one of the Nigerian Islamist militant group's major bases, is approximately 12.5 miles from the village.

The news of the kidnappings only came out late Friday night, after village residents fleeing Boko Haram arrived in the city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

"They came in pick-up trucks armed with guns and gathered all the men in the village outside the home of the village chief where they preached to us before singling out 40 of our boys and taking them away," village resident Bulama Muhammad told AFP.

"My two sons and three nephews were among those taken away by the Boko Haram gunmen and we believe they are going to use them as conscripts," Muhammad said.

Boko Haram infamously captured more than 200 schoolgirls from a Borno state school in April. In November, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau told the world that the schoolgirls have all been converted to Islam and married off, dashing hopes for their freedom.

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