05/07/2014, 00.00
NIGERIA - ISLAM
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Boko Haram abducts eight more girls as Al-Azhar slams its actions

The new attack was carried out last night in the village of Warabe. Gunmen opened fire and drove away with the girls. Sunni Islam's highest authority calls for their "immediate release", denouncing Boko Haram's kidnapping of female students as contrary to "the noble teachings of Islam". Card Onaiyekan speaks out on the matter.

Lagos (AsiaNews) - Gunmen from Boko Haram abducted eight girls from the village of Warabe. Like 223 other schoolgirls kidnapped on 14 April, this group of girls, aged 12 to 15, was taken away along with looted livestock and food, police reported.

Witnesses said that during the raid, the group opened fire and that their vehicles were painted in army colours.

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist group that sees education as a Western sin, posted a video a few days ago saying that he would sell the girls as sex slaves or force them to marry "by Allah".

Cairo-based Al-Azhar University, the highest Sunni Muslim authority in the world, released a statement yesterday calling "for the immediate release" of the girls.

Harming them would violate "the noble teachings of Islam in any way," the Al-Azhar's statement read.

Card John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, archbishop of Abuja, told Vatican Radio that many schools were closed due to fears of more abductions.

The prelate added that Nigerians are baffled by the government's helplessness and ineptitude, especially in view of its massive size and budgets.

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