230 Girls Kidnapped in Nigeria By Islamic Militants

Extremist group Boko Haram accused of mass abduction.
11:37 | 04/23/14

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Transcript for 230 Girls Kidnapped in Nigeria By Islamic Militants
-- Schools rated classrooms -- -- more than 230. Girls. Kidnapped by Islamic militants and Africa right now the international hot spot -- Nigeria. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York the -- of kidnapping took place in the northern part of the country that is the home. Of the Islamic extremist group alcohol -- last week but the number of missing jumped from dozens to hundreds just yesterday. The BBC's will Ross has that report from Lagos. Yet another destroy -- school in northeast Nigeria. This area of border state is so remote and dangerous it took a whole week to get the first pictures out. Many schools have been attacked by Islamist militants but this midnight raid on cheap -- -- was at that dormitories that within torched. The insurgents who believed to be from the group known as vocal around then loaded more than 200 goes onto lorries and drove them away. A few managed to escape one of the -- that she initially mistook the attackers for people who come to protect them we've hidden her identity for her -- safety. The we thought they were sold just and they also just -- the vehicle which headed towards them. My friend tonight jobs from the vehicle and ran back home because he realized it didn't look innocent. After trying for days Michael through on the -- to the father of one kidnapped go. The parent without it being what Google -- The Democrat patient knew that what go to -- could -- -- -- -- overrun translates in the local Hausa language is western education is forbidden and the attacks on government schools have forced thousands of students home. Last week the Nigerian military said it was doing all it could to locate and rescue the missing girls but since then there's been no official statements. Now relatives and friends are telling me they're increasingly desperate and they feel helpless as they wait for news. Christians and Muslims from -- -- oral saying the same -- for the girls to be set free. Will Ross BBC news Lagos. For more on this developing story I want to bring -- Reuters chief Nigerian correspondent Tim Cox also in Lagos. Tim we heard conflicting reports all week about this incident the number of girls still missing went up dramatically. And there are different reports about how many girls have been returned -- were able to escape what have you her. Nothing good with a different -- -- we've had pretty much reflective of who did and getting reliable information out of this very remote. Very dangerous area. The EU. Governments initially said that there were about a 129. Kidnapping that -- like a he had. Escapes but when -- some correspondents in local correspondents -- not to visit the but did -- that the parents and the school principal economist mark -- number. On the sort of consensus. Testament -- from the parents and from the school officials of the moment is -- -- about. -- -- -- You'll -- you were taken admittedly -- 200. -- roughly -- still missing. Now the group that is behind this Boca who -- have leader spoken out claiming responsibility for taking the girls but we heard. When nobody is quite read a book currency claimed responsibility for anything -- they tend to pick and choose what we're going to be -- -- physical and because they have. So little contact with any kind of media -- -- -- -- -- this web -- There's it's it's not often that they get exhausted after basically shoot a video and then need to have a -- account will be sitting that would. Plastic instruments did everything -- -- that they can weave them rifles around. And he'll come out with a statement like that -- they did claim a -- in Abuja on the same day as this these goals were kidnapped. That that he killed a little people and a -- But and they said nothing about the kidnapping of the go also. I guess we can tell -- that's mean that they don't want climate. And what are we learning about and why these girls were targeted. Does religion have to play in to anything like that education. Well it's not a completely new tactic they have been doing it since the browns -- lions. That we suddenly -- evidence of them -- nothing goes around July and Austin. And asked them why they're doing it they've they've always had -- -- dentists western education and west and cultural influences and the veto any kind of school that they will tolerate. Of these traditional. Islamic schools whereas boys and I'm -- the clearly separated and they agreed to Carano and they learn Arabic and they don't -- -- things like science. Like the sort of things that you get in in western style education. -- and surtax on schools which have been going on for a good couple of is -- -- a way of expressing that that's saying it. If you send your -- -- schools. New day wolves are being targetted. Another factor is from -- the started. Attacking civilians Molson civilians -- militia groups vigilante groups against them. And they see the they've -- the way they say that they've been tongue upon by the civilians but boy it was the security forces the government -- -- that target. Now the civilians anyone who's not -- beverage -- -- that anyone is not with us. Is against us so I think they say is that played bass to why they -- the -- goals its ability. -- those kind of -- -- the Uganda's little resistance army which. -- -- Thousands of found women and goes over the both schools of thought the war in Uganda and Central Africa -- to keep us wives. -- we still don't know we haven't had any evidence that's what they're doing. So no ransoms or anything like that just the kidnapping of two girls at this point. And of course parents -- -- of course are frustrated by the lack of response from the government. And are actually some of them are going into the force to look for their daughters by themselves what can you tell us about the parents' efforts as well as the government's. Well they're the latest the parents because of that they've more or less given up on the on finding these these -- -- -- whence they they had -- Go below the market cycles and they went into this very dangerous forest which is -- to the above program -- with some -- -- -- When they were told that the goes -- -- the American -- They -- what told us something some anecdotal evidence that some villages of the goes with collecting war. But they would never -- -- with the militants and at one point they -- just told you can't really go any further because you'll end up being a victim to. So they came back that they've been very discouraged that makes these things they need move won't government simple. And though they say today and office that no pretty -- -- that the the police haven't. So both of them at a police have not yet reacted to that and I plan. And what are we hearing from the government and -- what is the government's relationship with -- Islamic group. -- -- -- they've been trying to establish some kind of tied with with the Islamic group sued to -- would -- around -- -- analysts had to get peace -- going but the fact that they've been doing its full maybe two or three years and have not actually made any progress yet. Suggests that the that they've downed -- and the right people that they really don't have. Very much contact with these people that's ever happened to kidnappings of friends families a French priest -- also. A family who who about a kidnapped from -- encountering. -- -- -- -- And -- freedom -- suspicion all of -- someone managed to negotiate with them and get them freed. But we don't know whether it was someone in the Nigerian government we did tonight that -- had anything to do. Paying a ransom pulled the -- and ends or indeed from spiritual practice tonight announcing that sometimes comes amid suspicions during -- -- I another armada and things of that -- much part of I think it's more likely that someone it'll be freed. Bill forbids the next coming let's -- happens to others. Well maybe that it's possible that they can be rescued -- on a lot of go to be holding -- place. Can you give -- a little idea of the remote region where the girls were taken and also are there any sort of ways for human rights organizations you. Sort of gain some information on this. It's generally very difficult place that the game commission because it is -- -- remote and move on network is past the impact. -- the -- it is a kind of rugged. Mountain need to -- with so little bit like Afghanistan maybe not quite as dramatically. A mountain but does that put. United it's it's. Indianapolis the little case so they can hide out and annex its main the main reason they chose that area that the ministry -- offensive against them. -- about a year ago. Was because it is very very difficult to access and it's very difficult control you know with the rest of -- -- -- very much. Flaps it's very kind of semi desert and it was very easy to spot them and I'm so the spartans lead -- -- But none where they are now it's it's it's very very difficult and some -- -- human rights organizations getting access -- I think many of them would struggle to get. Security clearance that's -- that. I think that. They wouldn't be suddenly would be welcomed by both around another thing they did to be welcomed by the ministry that this. The rights organizations -- Accused the ministry of carrying out acts judicial killings arbitrary detention and -- kind of things that I think it would be very difficult -- to get access. Now Boca -- dramas and Islamic extremist group calling for a very strict. -- -- law but do they have strong support for mother Muslims throughout the country. That the with a sold on that question is -- -- -- they have very much seen as a as a kind of lunatic fringe movement. -- Muslims in -- in the vehicle brand of Islamic practices that is a pretty relaxed. About an Islamic studies done -- thing going for this very very well still -- while -- the book around subscribe to insofar as they do I don't think that there's thinks it's a good way to enforce it is due to us tax schools. Police stations in and kidnapped goes. Certain they have very little I think in the in the beginning -- study did have put principle they began a grassroots movement. In that sense they are very different al-Qaeda saying they they they how to. Hope they have popular support and their own schools to have their own movement and they they've sort of they spent a -- on this this kind of army of unemployed youth that a bit -- felt very left out I'm very destitute. And that field of the government. Local and national environment to help them. -- but over time they have. Increasingly become. Isolated from the people who very innovative -- felt -- -- I think that they've -- off for me some people may be hiding them out of fifth. But I don't think -- have -- -- a principal anymore because of that largely because of that idea. Reuters chief Nigeria correspondent Tim Cox -- -- thank you very much for joining us. You can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happens starring this story for exclusive updates on the go. You've been watching international hot spot for now I'm Michelle -- in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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