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Boko Haram Releases Video Showing Kidnapped Katsina Schoolboys

Boko Haram on Thursday released a video showing that it has custody of the students abducted from a government secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State,  according to agency reports.

In the six-minute-and-30-second footage, tens of young boys could be seen in the background, all covered in dust and appearing to be within a forested  area.

A relatively older schoolboy who spoke on their behalf urged the Nigerian Government to settle amicably with their abductors and advised against the use of military force in rescuing them.

“Please, you have to dissolve any gang of vigilantes, close any kind of schools, excluding Islamiyyah [Qur’anic schools]. All the troops who have come here to help us, please send them back,” one of the abducted schoolboys pleaded in the released video.

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“Shekau is clearly replaying the Chibok propaganda model. He’s doing this to get a ransom and free his detained members,” Bulama Bukarti, an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute, tweeted.

Also, Jacob Zenn, who analyses terrorism, also believes the extremist group is following the “Chibok media model”.

“The more the media, the more leverage he has. Unfortunately, the media can’t quite ‘ignore’ this either. It’s sort of an inevitable facet of terrorism. Wish there can be prompt resolution,” he tweeted.

In April 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were taken from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School in Chibok in Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing.

Katsina state authorities reported approximately 320 remained missing on Tuesday, the same day the Islamist extremist group claimed responsibility for their abduction.

Katsina’s governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said 839 boys were enrolled at the school, according to U.S. broadcast network ABC News. It’s not clear how many students were at the school at the time of the raid, nor how many eluded the kidnappers.

On Monday, the state governor said the abductors “have made contacts with the government”.

“Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families,” he said on Twitter, without identifying the kidnappers.

A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force, and army, according to the government. The army said on Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was underway.

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