Boko Haram Video Claims Missing Schoolgirls have Converted to Islam
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has allegedly captured the town where over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped earlier this year. YouTube

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has captured the village of Chibok in Nigeria's northeastern Bonro state, where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April, according to a local pastor and senator.

"Chibok was taken by Boko Haram. They are in control," said Enoch Mark, a pastor and the father of a girl still one of the 219 held by the group.

The senator for southern Borno, Ali Ndume, told AFP news agency that the militants attacked on Thursday afternoon, forcing residents to flee the village and destroying communications.

According to the local outlet Sahara Reporters, residents said that the militants had began shooting in the village before announcing that it had captured it as part of its Islamic "caliphate", in similar fashion to the tactics of the Islamic State [IS] which has captured large swatches of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Last week, the group killed at least nine people in a suicide bomb attack on a bank in the town of Azare in Bauchi state.

Last month, President Goodluck Jonathan's government announced a ceasefire with the terror group but its leader, Abubakar Shekau, denied the deal and the Islamist faction have stepped up their attacks in the country's north.

Three northeastern states - Yobe, Adamawa and Borno - have been placed under a state of emergency since May last year because of the terror group's insurgency.

According to Human Rights Watch, the militants have killed at least 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014, but researchers at the John Hopkins University School of International Studies estimate that 7,000 people have been killed in the 12 months between July 2013 and June this year.

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