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BAUCHI: More than 90 Nigerian schoolgirls are feared missing after insurgent group Boko Haram attacked a village in the north-eastern state of Yobe, two sources said on Wednesday.

Their disappearance, if confirmed, would be one of the largest since Boko Haram abducted more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014. That case drew global attention to the nine-year insurgency, which has sparked what the United Nations has called one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

A roll-call at the girls’ school on Tuesday showed that 91 students were absent, said the two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

“I saw girls crying and wailing in three Tata vehicles and they were crying for help,” said a witness from the nearby village of Gumsa who was reportedly forced to show the insurgents the way out of the area and then released.

The witness’s account that Boko Haram had abducted girls in the attack on Dapchi on Monday evening could not be verified. Nigerian police and the regional education ministry denied any abductions had taken place, but parents and other witnesses also told Reuters some girls were still missing.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2018