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Nigerian Officials Challenge Latest Kidnapping Reports

A newspaper with its frontpage headline on an abduction of women from a village in northeast Nigeria is displayed at a vendor's stand along a road in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, June 10, 2014.
Officials in northeastern Nigeria are disputing reports that Boko Haram militants kidnapped 20 women from a village near Chibok, where more than 200 girls were nabbed in April.

In a phone interview with VOA's Hausa service, the Borno state police commissioner, Lawal Tanko, said local police are unaware of any abduction.
Boko Haram attacks, State of Borno, Nigeria, May 30, 2014
Boko Haram attacks, State of Borno, Nigeria, May 30, 2014
The chairman of the Chibok local government, Ben Lawan, also told VOA he had not heard about any kidnapping.

The Associated Press reported Boko Haram militants abducted 20 women late last week from Garkin Fulani, a small settlement a few kilometers from Chibok.

The story quoted a member of a local vigilante group as saying the women were forced into cars at gunpoint and driven away to an unknown location.

The AP tells VOA that it stands by its story.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 200 girls from a Chibok school in April. The United States and others are helping Nigerian authorities search for the girls, whose abduction sparked an international outcry.

Nigerian authorities have come under growing criticism that they are not doing enough to stop attacks by Boko Haram, which is blamed for thousands of deaths as it tries to turn northern Nigeria into an Islamic extremist state.