The search continues for 17 girls in northeast Nigeria after Islamic extremists abducted them from a village last week.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for attacking a village called Pemi which is located in Borno state, The Associated Press reported.

Yana Galang, a village resident told The Associated Press, that the terrorists invaded a church and several nearby homes on Thursday.

“They just parked their vehicle near the compounds,” and carried the abducted children ranging from the ages 10 to 12 to their vehicles.

Onyema Nwachukwu, a Nigerian army spokesperson said this latest abduction is a desperate act from Boko Haram to grow their influence in the region.

“Having been depleted by our troops, the imbroglio in their ranks and the massive surrendering of Boko Haram, the terrorists, in a desperate move, are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they could easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially,” he said.

This comes nearly a decade after the #BringBackOurGirls trended when Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls from the same village.

Many people around the world including Former First Lady Michelle Obama joined the global campaign and used their platforms to demand Boko Haram safely return the young girls, Vanity Fair reported.

In 2014 members of Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in Chibok, the capital of Borno state, where hundreds of girls from surrounding areas gathered to take exams, BBC reported.

The girls were asleep in their dormitories when the extremists abducted them and placed the girls into lorries. Some of the girls were able to escape shortly after being abducted.

The Associated Press reported, more than 100 of those schoolgirls are still missing.

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