Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group with ties to al-Qaeda waging war in Nigeria and responsible for the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls, has reportedly reached a ceasefire agreement with the Nigerian government. Discussions between the Nigerian government and the militants have included talks of releasing the girls, who have been in captivity for six months.
Boko Haram, the militant Islamic group that has been kidnapping women, girls, and boys and capturing territory in northern Nigeria, has declared an Islamic caliphate. The Nigerian army already rejected the claim as "empty," noting that the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact."
Extremist group Boko Haram has reportedly seized yet another major Nigerian town, killing at least 100 civilians in the process. Nigeria's Daily Post reports that Gwoza, one of the most populated areas in the northeastern Borno State, was seized by the group at dawn, who came in using armored tanks and Toyota Hilux pickup trucks. Local news agency Sahara Reporters says that the attack began at dawn, and the town was under Boko Haram control by late morning. Nigerian soldiers were reportedly outmatched by what SR calls, worryingly, Boko Haram's "increasingly sophisticated weaponry."
Multiple outlets are reporting an explosion occurred at a World Cup viewing venue in Damaturu, in northeast Nigeria. A source from the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital told Reuters that "several pickup trucks" carrying wounded and potential casualties pulled up to the hospital following the explosion. Al Jazeera is reporting that "many" people have been killed.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have reportedly abducted 20 women from the village of Garkin Fulani, Nigeria, just miles away from the Chibok, where hundreds of girls were taken in April. The Nigerian Islamic militants forced the girls into their vehicles by gunpoint and also reportedly kidnapped three young men attempting to stop the abduction.
In a video obtained by the AFP on Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said he would free the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian school girls in exchange for the release of captured militants. The video also shows several dozen girls, claimed by Shekau to be the missing school girls, wearing full-length hijabs and praying.