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A man purporting to be a Boko Haram fighter said the Islamist militant group plans to bomb Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, in a video seen by Reuters on Saturday. “More bombs attacks are on the way, including Abuja that you feel is secured,” said the man in the video which was obtained by Sahara Reporters, a U.S.-based journalism website, and Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.
Nigeria’s state security agency, the Department of State Services (DSS), in April said it had thwarted plans by Boko Haram militants linked to Islamic State to attack the British and U.S. embassies in Abuja. About 82 girls were freed last Saturday in exchange for Boko Haram commanders after being held captive for three years. They were among around 270 kidnapped by the jihadist group from the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria in April 2014.
In a second video seen by Reuters, one of a group of four females covered in full-length Muslim veils claiming to be among the abducted girls said she did not want to return home. “We don’t want to reunite with our parents because they are not worshipping Allah, and I urge you to join us,” she said, holding a rifle and speaking in the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria. She added: “We have not been forcefully married to anybody. Marriage is based on your wish.”
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the authenticity of the video. Mediator and lawyer Zannah Mustapha said some of the abducted girls refused to be released, fuelling fears that they have been radicalised by the jihadists, and may feel afraid or ashamed to return to their old lives.