Zee Media Bureau
Abuja: In the latest episode of brazen attacks and killings, Nigerian militant group Boko Haram are said to have blown up a bridge and abducted a retired police officers family, reports said Sunday.
Even as the international condemnation grows over the growing menace of the Boko Haram in wake pf abduction of 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, the militant outfit continues to unleash terror and bloodshed.
According to a news agency, in the latest violet attack, they blew up a bridge on Friday night in the restive northeast Nigeria and abducted the wife and two children of a retired police officer.
Boko Haram`s increased aggression comes as the Western powers joined efforts to search the missing girls and combat the Islamic terrorism.
A team of French experts arrived Saturday in Nigeria, said an official in President Francois Hollande`s office in Paris. He said they are expert in collecting intelligence from technical and human sources and in image analysis.
British security experts arrived Friday to join Nigerian and American forces, and Britain said its aim is not only to help in the crisis over the girls but to defeat Nigeria`s homegrown Boko Haram terrorist network.
International outrage at the prolonged failure of Nigeria`s military to rescue the girls was joined Saturday by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. In a radio address on the eve of the Sunday honoring mothers in the United States she said she and President Barack Obama are "outraged and heartbroken" over the April 15 mass abduction.
"In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters," Mrs. Obama said, referring to Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. "We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now."
A well-known Nigerian Islamic scholar meanwhile warned that having foreign soldiers on Nigerian soil could escalate the conflict and draw foreign extremists to the West African nation. Ahmed Mahmud-Gumi, speaking in northern Kaduna city on Friday, said it "may trigger waves of terrorism never seen before."
"Foreign terrorists are eager to engage foreign forces, making Nigeria just another battle ground" like Afghanistan and Iraq, he said.
Former Nigerian military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida urged the country`s Muslims to rise up against the extremists sullying the name of Islam.
"Islam enjoins you to live peacefully with fellow human beings. Therefore, anybody who will come and smear our name, all Muslims should kick against that. Muslims should also do everything possible to stop this continued blackmail against the religion of Islam," he said in an interview Saturday with the BBC Hausa Service.
From Doha, Qatar, the International Union for Muslim Scholars condemned "the terrible crimes offensive to Islam" and said the actions of Boko Haram "are very far from Islamic teachings."
With Agency Inputs