MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - At least 35 Nigeria's police officers went missing after an armed Boko Haram militants' attacked a police academy in the country's north-east, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday citing local authorities.
"Thirty-five policemen who are still missing from the facility as a result of the latest attack are being searched for with very promising prospects of locating them," national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu as said in a statement, according to AFP.
The police representative told AFP it was early to say whether the officers had been kidnapped as hundreds of other in the past five years of an uprising in the country.
The Islamists attacked the academy outside of the town of Gwoza on Wednesday, which Boko Haram seized earlier this month. The state's military said it was preparing an offensive to retake the town.
Boko Haram is a radical group, which wants to create an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria. Boko Haram militants are believed to be the masterminds behind most terrorist attacks carried out in the country. Last year, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in parts of the country following a spate of Boko Haram attacks.
In April 2014, Boko Haram abducted more than 270 Nigerians schoolgirls and now threatens the stability of the entire region. The head of the Islamist group offered to swap girls for arrested terrorists in the state but Nigerian authorities declined the deal. Some 57 schoolgirls have reunited with families while 219 remain captive.