WASHINGTON, MAY 9, 2014 – US Marines in Nigeria have made an arrest, taking two suspected Boko Haram terrorists into custody. The men were found in possession of guns and ammunition during what is being called a “targeted search.”
US Marines arrived in the area in order to assist in the recovering of 234 girls kidnaped by the the terrorist group Boko Haram from the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok. It took more than three weeks before the Nigerian government accepted help in their battle against the terrorist group.
France, the UK, the US and China are all offering support including intelligence, training and military assistance. Since Wednesday, US troops have arrived in Nigeria where they are providing security for the World Economic Forum on Africa.
Marines are expected to join Nigerian soldiers in pursuing Boko Haram into the Sambisa Forest in Borno State where they are believed to have spirited the kidnapped girls to. Major General Chris Olukolade, Nigeria’s director of defense information, says the two suspected Boko Haram members were arrested at Anyibe in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The arrests including a teenager and an elderly man and happened during a a cordon-and-search operation. The two men were found to be in possession of two rifles, three locally fabricated pistols and 61 rounds of special ammunition. The teenager, who is currently in custody, was said to be in possession of the guns.
Boko Haram, whose name loosely translated means ‘Western Education is sin,” attacked the all-girls high school in Borno state on April 14 and kidnapped approximately 276 students. According to news.com.au, 53 girls did managed to escape. The girls, who had been taking exams, were loaded onto trucks by the militants and taken to an unknown location.
Following that attack, Boko Haram militants have gone into homes and captured eight more children before attacking persons at an open air market in Gamboru, in remote northeastern Nigeria near the border with Cameroon. At least 50 bodies have been recovered, many horribly burned, in the town.
Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 people so far this year. The Islamic group is waging terror in order to impose Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation, which has 170 million people equally divided between Christian and Muslim. On Friday, Amnesty International said it conducted interviews concluding that Nigerian security forces were warned about the attack, but did not take steps to protect the children.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan pledged to find the girls and thanked foreign nations for their support when speaking at the World Economic Forum being hosted in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday, .
“By God’s grace we will conquer the terrorists,” he told the audience. “I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria.”