Apr 14, 2018, 9:10 AM ET

Boko Haram has abducted over 1,000 children, killed more than 2,000 teachers

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Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria since 2013, the United Nations' children's agency announced Friday.

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The number of children kidnapped by the Nigerian terrorist group includes 276 girls snatched from a boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok on the night of April 14, 2014, four years ago today.

Some of the Chibok schoolgirls managed to escape, while others were later rescued or freed following negotiations. But four years on from that fateful night, more than 100 of them have yet to be returned to their families, according to UNICEF.

"The four-year anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack at a shocking scale," Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said in a statement Friday. "They are consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places."

PHOTO: The leader of one of Boko Harams factions, Abubakar Shekau, speaks in front of guards in an unknown location in Nigeria in this still image taken from an undated video obtained on Jan. 15, 2018.Boko Haram/Sahara Reporters via Reuters
The leader of one of Boko Haram's factions, Abubakar Shekau, speaks in front of guards in an unknown location in Nigeria in this still image taken from an undated video obtained on Jan. 15, 2018.

Since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in the northeast region nine years ago, at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and over 1,400 schools have been destroyed. Most of these schools haven't been able to reopen due to extensive damage or ongoing insecurity in the area, according to UNICEF.

Most recently, suspected Boko Haram fighters abducted 110 students from an girls' boarding school in the northeast town of Dapchi in the middle of the night on Feb. 19. More than a month later, 104 of the schoolgirls were freed by their captors following "back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country," according to Segun Adeyemi, spokesman for Nigeria's Ministry of Information and Culture.

PHOTO: A classroom sits deserted at the Government Girls Technical College at Dapchi town in northern Nigeria after Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 110 school girls, Feb. 28, 2018.Aminu Abubakar/AFP/Getty Images
A classroom sits deserted at the Government Girls Technical College at Dapchi town in northern Nigeria after Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 110 school girls, Feb. 28, 2018.

One of the Dapchi schoolgirls, Liya Sharibu, wasn't released because she had apparently refused her captors' orders to convert from Chistianity to Islam, her father told reporters. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed in a statement that Sharibu is "the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity," adding that she "will not be abandoned."

Five other Dapchi schoolgirls who remain unaccounted for are believed to have died at the hands of their captors.

PHOTO: Released Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, in the northeastern state of Yobe, wait to meet the Nigerian president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 23, 2018.Philip Ojisua/AFP/Getty Images
Released Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, in the northeastern state of Yobe, wait to meet the Nigerian president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 23, 2018.

The relentless onslaughts show not even children and schools are spared from Boko Haram's wrath -- rather, they are the targets.

The Nigerian jihadist group's uprising was fueled largely through the group's systematic campaign of abducting children and forcing thousands of girls and boys into their ranks, according to a report issued in April 2017 by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

PHOTO: A man reacts as dead bodies are brought to a hospital after a suspected Boko Haram attack on the edge of Maiduguris inner city, Nigeria April 2, 2018.Ahmed Kingimi/Reuters
A man reacts as dead bodies are brought to a hospital after a suspected Boko Haram attack on the edge of Maiduguri's inner city, Nigeria April 2, 2018.

Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates into, "Western education is forbidden," seeks to establish an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, though it has spread its terror across mountainous borders over the years into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, all of which surround the Lake Chad Basin.

"These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable," Fall said. "Children have the right to education and protection, and the classroom must be a place where they are safe from harm."

PHOTO: Rescue workers carry a body of a victim following a suicide attack by Boko Haram Islamic extremists in Maiduguri, Nigeria, April 2, 2018.Jossy Ola/AP
Rescue workers carry a body of a victim following a suicide attack by Boko Haram Islamic extremists in Maiduguri, Nigeria, April 2, 2018.

Nigerian authorities have made a commitment to make schools safer and more resilient to attacks, UNICEF said. But the region's deepening humanitarian crisis, mainly sparked by Boko Haram's years-long insurgency, remains one of the world's most severe. Since the conflict began in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and 1.7 million people are still internally displaced.

United Nations officials have warned that the crisis shows no sign of abating.

"The crisis continues to displace thousands of vulnerable women, children and men every week," Edward Kallon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said in a statement last month.

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  • Galyn Hopper-Ned

    So very sad, to read this. As an American Christian my heart hurts for the parents of these people who have lost their children. As the supporter of the military with family in the military we need every nation to take responsibility for policeing their own nation. It starts with the local people. Hunt these cowards down and string them up where you find them and leave them for all to see this is what happens when you defile our children. My prayers are with you.

  • friar19

    Terrible atrocities to women and children specifically, and yet, no military intervention on our part. Now, what could be the difference?

  • reality25

    "Since the conflict began in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and 1.7 million people are still internally displaced."

    20,000 people killed? 1.7 million people displaced? Um, where were the headlines? Also, back in 2015, it was reported that at the height of Boko Haram's territorial aggression, the group "carved out a 'caliphate' the size of Belgium in the impoverished north- eastern corner of Nigeria" until they were defeated and pushed out by the Nigerian military. Why is detailed coverage lacking?

  • Colinalcarz

    Boko Haram is a phony quasi military extremist group that uses the pretense of Islamic State ideology to justify its own brand of warped male sexual dominant practice which includes kidnapping hundreds of child brides as “reward virgins” for its bloodthirsty members. They are utterly repugnant and Muslims everywhere should disavow them.

  • momonomo

    Such a disgusting movement.

  • newguy68

    So i take it #hashtag diplomacy didn't work???

  • quinLee

    How is this guy still breathing......

  • Putin

    I am god of the world. I have instructed Trump to stay away. When you all bow down to me, I may sell you cheap AK 47's so you can spread my godliness over those that reject enslavement to me.

  • jon rhodes

    This is a shameful failed government.

  • TheTyrannyOfTheMajority

    Wait.

    Do you mean that Michelle Obama’s sad face with #BringBackOurGirls didn’t stop Boko Haram???

    Amazing.

  • Stefan Michaud

    They killed 2000 teachers? Oklahoma's governor wants their contact info.

  • Marly Duran

    The guy in the oval office is saying he'll attack Syria (to get Putin's attention) but he doesn't care about these people.

    This is what happens when religion is allowed to take over government.
    It's very much like the Christian Crusades of long ago.

    When will people realize that worship has to be voluntary. Whether or not you choose to believe and what or whom you choose to worship is all up to the individual.

    Religion continues to be a source of conflict as it has been for centuries.

  • mountainlady

    So where is the western outrage? Where is the showy response from western military? Just sad headlines every other month and it goes on and on.

  • CaptnBlynd

    And the world tolerates their existence.

  • Indy

    Monsters in the eyes of all who see them for what they truly are, can't think of any who could be more deserving of death than these cowardly killers of women and children.