Nigerian radical Islamist group Boko Haram has demanded a ransom of 800 cows for twenty women abducted in northeastern Nigeria, a ransom that would leave the families of the abducted women no livelihoods, reports one security source.
The report appeared in Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper, and alleges that the terrorists are demanding the hundreds of cows to both make money and eat. “The terrorists demanded that each of the women would be swapped with 20 cows each bringing the total to 800 cows,” the paper reports, citing both police sources and husbands of the women abducted.
A police source added that the husbands are hesitant to yield their 20 cows, because “without it they have no means of livelihood.”
While Vanguard reports that vigilante groups in the area, still searching to find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted earlier this year by Boko Haram, have denied they had heard of the 20 additional women who were kidnapped, the report was confirmed last week in Nigeria’s Leadership, which cited police sources confirming the abduction. According to that report, the abduction was particularly successful because the terrorists waited for most of the men in the village to be out of town and not on guard, allowing them to seize the women at gunpoint before the men returned to find that the women had disappeared.
The dangers of Boko Haram’s assault on stability and civilian life in Nigeria have been at an all-time high in 2014, peaking at the mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok, Borno. The BBC reports that at least 3,300 have been killed by Boko Haram violence since January 2014, including both attacks on foot and bombings.
Most recently, Boko Haram has been targeting Nigerian places of leisure, bombing a bar and brothel near a football stadium in the town of Mubi in Adamawa. More than 40 people were killed in that attack, according to law enforcement officials, who added that Boko Haram was targeting a crowd leaving a game in the stadium as the bomb exploded. Given Boko Haram’s targeting of soccer fans, the Nigerian government announced this week that it would cancel free screenings of World Cup matches so as to not create targets for Boko Haram attacks. The government has also received intelligence that indicated Boko Haram had planned to attack the screenings, as they provide a large congregation of people and the opportunity to do more damage.