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ICC Note: Three hundred elementary school children remain missing among 400 Boko Haram hostages still captive since March 2015. The militant Islamist terror group abducted women and kids from Damasak, Nigeria. representing the largest single recorded Boko Haram abduction since the beginning of their bloody insurgency in 2009. While the kidnapping of nearly 300 mostly Christian girls from Chibok in April 2014 garners vast global attention, the Damasak incident has become forgotten. Nigerian officials even denied the abduction, but now that residents continue to report their missing loved ones, the episode becomes more difficult to ignore. Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 2,000 women and children in their quest to establish an Islamic State in West Africa, according to Amnesty International.

By Geoffrey York

3/29/16 Damasak, Nigeria (The Globe and Mail) – It was the kidnapping that the world ignored. Denied by the authorities, overshadowed by other atrocities, hidden by its remote location, the kidnapping of about 400 women and children in the Nigerian town of Damasak remains unsolved and shrouded in mystery a year later.

It was the biggest-ever kidnapping by the Islamist radicals of the Boko Haram group, yet it was neglected by politicians and activists who focused instead on the heavily publicized kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.

While it is Chibok that continues to mesmerize the global spotlight, Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 2,000 girls and women since the beginning of 2014, turning them into cooks, fighters and sex slaves, according to an Amnesty International report last year. More recently, there have been fears that some of the kidnapped girls were forced to become suicide bombers.

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