60 girls and women abducted in Nigeria, reports claim

BY newsdesk  June 24, 2014 at 3:19 PM EDT

A local official confirmed to the Associated Press that 60 girls and women and 31 boys were abducted by extremists in weekend attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria.

The news agency reports that Nigerian security forces have denied the abductions and that there is no good way to independently verify the claims.

Nigeria’s government is still dealing with the fallout of failing to secure the safety of the more than 200 girls abducted by extremists in April. Both sets of abductions took place in Borno state, where the terrorist group Boko Haram has its roots.

The Council on Foreign Relations classifies Boko Haram as a diffuse Islamist sect that has attacked Nigeria’s police, military, rival clerics, politicians, schools, religious buildings, public institutions and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Some experts view the group as an armed revolt against government corruption, abusive security forces and widening regional economic disparity in an already impoverished country. The U.S. Department of State has designated it a foreign terrorist organization.