Boko Haram Brags About Bombing as Malala Comforts Nigerian Families

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As Malala Yousafzai spent her 17th birthday in Nigeria meeting with families of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the terrorist group released a new video declaring victory for its recent attacks. The attacks included the dual bombing of fuel depots in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

It would be the first reported bombing by Boko Haram in Lagos—Nigeria's commercial capital, an Atlantic port and city of some 20 million people. At least four people died in the June 25 blasts, including an alleged female suicide bomber.

The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, also called on the government to exchange its captured members for the abducted girls. 

Speaking of her meetings with the parents of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Harem, Malala, who escaped assassination by the Pakistani Taliban, offered this: 

I could see tears in their eyes. They were hopeless. But they seem to have this hope in their hearts ... and they were asking that: Is it possible that they could meet the president." 

In a telling move, Malala waited until after she met with the families to be received by Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan. The Nigerian premier has avoided meeting with the families, but frequently travels to rallies in support of their release. During their session, Jonathan promised Malala that he would the girls would be returned "as soon as possible."

During the meeting, Malala, who also had a poignant opinion piece in the Washington Post this morning, said "My birthday wish this year is 'Bring Back Our Girls' now and alive."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.