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Boko Haram Gunmen Kidnap 40 Young Men In Nigeria

On New Year's Eve the Islamic militant group arrived in pick-up trucks and attacked a remote village in northeast Nigeria.
January 3, 2015, 9:45pm
Photo via AP

As the new year arrived, Boko Haram militants wrought turmoil both to Nigeria and to Cameroon, kidnapping 40 young men and boys in northern Nigeria and killing at least 15 people in a bus in northern Cameroon.

On New Year's Eve the Islamic militant group attacked a remote village in northeast Nigeria, villagers told the BBC Friday night. The fighters arrived in pick-up trucks and ordered that the boys come listen to a sermon — but then rounded them up and took them away. The victims were between 10 and 23 years old, CNN reported. News of the attack was delayed until Friday because of previous destruction of cell phone towers in the area by the Islamic militants.

Boko Haram kidnaps 40 boys in northern Nigeria

— eNCA (@eNCAnews) January 3, 2015

"My two sons and three nephews were among those taken way by militants and we believe they are going to use them as conscripts," one villager, Bulama Muhammad, told AFP News. "They came in with pick-up trucks armed with guns and gathered all the men outside the home of the village chief where they preached to us before singling out 40 of our boys and taking them away."

Then in northern Cameroon on New Year's Day, Boko Haram militants killed at least 15 people in a bus attack, in the latest incident of heightened violence along the country's border with Nigeria.

The militants open fired on the passengers, who were traveling between the cities Kousseri and Maroua on the evening of January 1. Maroua is the capital of the northern region, which has been worst hit by Nigeria's tumult. Officials told Reuters they expect the death toll to increase.

As the terrorist group continues its attacks, families of the 200 schoolgirls it kidnapped in 2014 are renewing their protests. A video from January 1 shows women chanting and demanding the rescue of their girls. The families have also asked the UN to help them find the children, All Africa reported.

The Conflict With Boko Haram Could Derail Nigeria's 2015 Presidential Election. Read more here.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates to "Western education is forbidden," has stepped up its presence in northern Cameroon over the past year, prompting the country to deploy thousands of troops to the area. In December the country's Air Force intervened after Boko Haram militants laid siege to five towns and then occupied a military camp.

Cameroon Launches First Airstrike Against Boko Haram Militants. Read more here.

Follow Meredith Hoffman on Twitter: @merhoffman