Boko Haram Militants Kidnap 16 Girls in Southeastern Niger

Dozens of Islamist militants came in the night on horseback and abducted the girls from two villages in the Diffa region

People stand amid the damage at a camp for displaced people after an attack by suspected members of Boko Haram in Dalori, Nigeria, November 1, 2018.
Kolawole Adewale/Reuters

Sixteen girls have been abducted by Boko Haram militants in south-eastern Niger, officials said on Saturday.

The girls were taken from two villages in Diffa region on Friday night by dozens of Islamist militants on horseback, Lamidou Boukara, a village chief, said.

Nine girls were kidnapped from Blaharde and seven from Bague, Diffa regional governor Mahaman Bakabe told dpa.

Boko Haram poses a steady threat to communities in the north-east of Nigeria and has also launched offensives in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Since 2009, tens of thousands of people have died at the hands of the Sunni fundamentalists in the region and an estimated 2.5 million people fled their homes.

The group's goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia.