May 6, 2014 - 13:48 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The leader of Boko Haram threatened to sell more than 200 schoolgirls his Islamist militant group kidnapped in northeastern Nigeria last month, according to Reuters.
Boko Haram militants stormed an all-girl secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, on April 14 and packed the teenagers, who had been taking exams, onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.
The attack shocked Nigerians, who have been growing accustomed to hearing about atrocities in an increasingly bloody five-year-old Islamist insurgency in the north.
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says in a video, chuckling as he stands in front of an armored personnel carrier with two masked militants wielding AK-47s on either side of him.
"Allah has instructed me to sell them. They are his property and I will carry out his instructions," he says.
Boko Haram, seen as the main security threat to Nigeria, Africa's leading energy producer, is growing bolder and extending its reach. The kidnapping occurred on the day a bomb blast, also blamed on Boko Haram, killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja, the first attack on the capital in two years.
The group's name means "Western education is sinful" and Shekau in the video makes reference to the fact that the girls were undergoing Western education.
The militants, who say they are fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, carried out a second bomb attack more than two weeks later in the same area, killing 19 people and wounding 34 in the suburb of Nyanya.
The girls' abduction has been hugely embarrassing for the government and threatens to overshadow its first hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for Africa on May 7-9.
Nigerian officials had hoped the event would highlight their country's potential as an investment destination since it became Africa's biggest economy after a GDP recalculation in March.