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Boko Haram Gunmen Kidnap 40 in Nigeria on New Year’s Eve: Reports

© AP PhotoImage taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network
Image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network - Sputnik International
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Boko Haram militants reportedly took 40 people captive in a remote village in northern Nigeria on New Year’s Eve.

MOSCOW, January 3 (Sputnik) – Gunmen believed to be from the Boko Haram group allegedly kidnapped 40 young men in a remote village of Malari, located in Nigeria’s restive Borno State, AFP reports, citing local residents.

The Boko Haram Islamist group has released a propaganda video showing the execution of dozens of civilian 'non-believers'. - Sputnik International
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Boko Haram Video Shows Militants Killing Dozens of Captive Men in a School
"They came in pick-up trucks armed with guns and gathered all the men in the village outside the home of the village chief where they preached to us before singling out 40 of our boys and taking them away," Bulama Muhammad told the news agency.

Another witness, Mohammed Zarami, told Reuters that the young men were mostly mostly between the ages of 15 to 23. "As I am talking to you now, there is no youth in our village," he said.

"My two sons and three nephews were among those taken away by the Boko Haram gunmen," Muhammad stated. He fears his relatives will be forced to join the militant group.

Residents, who fled the village, said the men were presumably taken to Sambisa forest, where one of Boko Haram’s key bases is believed to be located. Following the mass kidnapping, Malari residents have relocated to Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno State.

This Friday Oct. 31, 2014 image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, center, has denied agreeing to any cease-fire with the government and said Friday more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls all have converted to Islam and been married off. - Sputnik International
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Boko Haram Kills 32, Kidnaps Nearly 200 Women, Children in Nigeria
"When we heard of the kidnap of 40 boys in Malari by Boko Haram we decided to leave because we could be the next target," said Alaramma Babagoni, who fled from the nearby village of Mulgwi, as quoted by AFP.

"Boko Haram has been abducting young men from villages in the area because we are close to their stronghold in Sambisa forest," he explained.

Boko Haram is a militant group, which aims at establishing an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Large swathes of land in the Borno State, as well as in neighboring Adamawa and Yobe are believed to be under control of the Islamists. Boko Haram insurgency left over 10,000 people dead.

The group drew international outrage after kidnapping 276 schoolgirls from the Chibok village in April 2014 and subjecting them to physical, psychological and sexual abuse for refusing to convert to Islam.

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