Dozens of girls abducted in Nigeria; militants blamed

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Soldiers, "vigilantes and volunteers," CNN writes, are searching for about 100 Nigerian schoolgirls who are reportedly in the hands of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The students, along with about 100 other girls, were grabbed by Boko Haram gunmen on Monday in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok after a firefight with guards at their school. The Associated Press says one soldier and a police officer died in the battle.

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The Daily Post, a Nigerian online newspaper, reports that at least 80 girls either escaped or were rescued on Tuesday when the truck they were being transported in broke down.

As Voice of America notes:

"There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack or the kidnapping. [But] the assault is similar to others carried out by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which is blamed for scores of attacks and thousands of deaths since launching an insurgency in 2009.

"The group, whose name means 'Western education is a sin,' wants to impose strict Islamic law on northern Nigeria."

Boko Haram is also being blamed for a deadly attack Monday near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. More than 70 people were killed and dozens more injured when a bomb went off at a bus station. The explosion set off other blasts as vehicles in the vicinity burned.

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