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"Since 2013, more than 1,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, including 276 girls taken from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in 2014," said UNICEF in a statement.
Schools, particularly those with a secular curriculum, have been targeted by Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates from Hausa -- the language spoken widely across northern Nigeria -- as "Western education is forbidden".
While a 2015 offensive launched by Nigerian President
Muhammadu Buhari successfully reclaimed swathes of territory back from the jihadists in Nigeria, the group still stages deadly attacks on both military targets and civilians. In February, the Islamists shocked Nigerians by driving unopposed into the northeastern town of Dapchi and kidnapping over 100 schoolgirls.
Most of the girls have since been returned, but the brazen abduction revived painful memories of the Chibok kidnapping in 2014.
Of the 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from the northeastern town of Chibok on April 14, 2014, over 100 are still missing.