35 Nigeria police 'missing' after Boko Haram raid

Abuja - Thirty-five Nigerian police officers deployed to a training academy in the remote northeast are missing after a Boko Haram attack on the facility, a spokesperson said on Saturday.

The Islamists attacked the academy just outside the town of Gwoza on Wednesday. Boko Haram seized Gwoza earlier this month, but the military has said it is preparing an offensive to retake the town in Borno state.

"Thirty-five policemen who are still missing from the facility as a result of the latest attack are being searched for with very promising prospects of locating them," national police spokesperson Emmanuel Ojukwu said in a statement.

He separately told AFP that it was premature to speculate on whether the officers had been taken hostage by the militants who have kidnapped hundreds of people during a five-year uprising.

Some may have been killed with their bodies not yet found while others may have ran to safety during the Islamist onslaught but have not yet reported their whereabouts, Ojukwu said.

He added it was possible that some had been abducted but that investigations were ongoing.

Boko Haram, blamed for more than 10 000 deaths since 2009, has repeatedly targeted the police and the military throughout an insurgency aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in the north.

The crisis has intensified in recent months.

Boko Haram is believed to be in control of large swathes of territory in Borno, its historic stronghold, as well as at least one town in neighbouring Yobe state.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast in May of last year and the military launched a massive operation to flush out the Islamists, which showed some initial success.

But analysts say top brass failed to sustain the pressure, allowing Boko Haram to regroup and recapture a group of towns and key roads in the region.

Azana Booi 2014-08-24 10:07:03 AM
OW MY HAT!!!! How PATHETIC can nigeria really get!!! Dont they see Jonathan is funding those Angels of Death...boko haram???
Mageba 2014-08-24 10:26:35 AM
Boko Haram may now kidnap Jonathan
Bnet Jonas 2014-08-24 10:27:21 AM
BokonHaram is partly funded by the SA Muslim community
Mooketsi Amogelang Cliverto 2014-08-24 10:36:49 AM
Owae nigeria is a flop yoh.y dnt thy ask 4 hlp agnst thse killer coz thr military nd police hv failed
Lefu Jacob 2014-08-24 12:00:00 PM
i think it's time for jonathan to step down as president and even so called legal advisor to him. it's high time for nigerian's to ask help from other african country.
Grant Durban 2014-08-24 12:15:25 PM
There is no way a president can be this ineffective? Starting to look like he is working with them
Jacob Molife 2014-08-24 12:18:37 PM
Not long before they kidnap that 'cowuntry'
Bongani Wanne 2014-08-24 12:21:31 PM
This thing it show the seriousness of problem nigerian nation facing, to me is wed or not used that police can be missing, but my question is until when should this killing, violence will end.
Christina Setloboko 2014-08-25 10:30:21 AM
but what is jonathan doing about all this? boko haram are doing as they please, doesn't look like he cares.