Editor's note: Reports based on eyewitness accounts say suspected Boko Haram militants have kidnapped at least 25 girls from a remote town in northeast Nigeria. We are looking for confirmation from additional sources. - Tricia
Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur says he is 'cautiously optimistic' about developments on a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram militants, says plan came after 1 month of negotiations mediated by Chad - @BBCNews
Editor's note: We are aware of reports that Nigeria's military is claiming a truce has been reached with Boko Haram militants that includes the release of the schoolgirls abducted 6 months ago. We are looking for further confirmation on such a deal. - Tricia
Editor's note: There are reports that as many as 200 Boko Haram members were killed in clashes with Nigerian troops. These numbers haven’t been confirmed and we are watching for more information. - Jillian
Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden), Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad, is a militant Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria. The group has received training and funds from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and was designated by the US as a terrorist organisation in November 2013. Membership has been estimated to number between a few hundred and a few thousand.
Boko Haram killed more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014, including at least 2,000 in the first half of 2014, in attacks occuring mainly in northeast, north-central and central states. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest. 650,000 people fled the conflict zone by August 2014, an increase of 200,000 since May.
"Since Boko Haram’s resurgence in 2010, the Nigerian government has struggled to respond to the growing threat posed by the group." (US CRS, 2014)