The European Union on Monday announced it has imposed sanctions on Nigeria's Boko Haram as an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group, AFP reports.
The decision to blacklist the group follows its designation as a terrorist movement two weeks ago by the United Nations.
Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely from the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria as “Western education is sin”, was added to the EU list late last week along with Syria's jihadist Al-Nusra Front.
The move subjects Boko Haram and Al-Nusra, as well as people or entities supporting them financially or materially, to sanctions including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban.
Boko Haram, which was created ten years ago, demands the creation of an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria. Its attacks have left thousands dead since 2009.
Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks on targets it says are a product of Western influence, including sports venues and schools teaching a secular curriculum.
The conflict has received unprecedented global attention over the last six weeks following the Islamists' mass kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls.
The girls were seized on April 14 from Chibok in Borno state. Some of them have since escaped their captors.
Concerns over the fate of the girls were heightened after Boko Haram's leader threatened to sell them as slaves. The Al-Qaeda-linked group has publicized a video showing some of the kidnapped girls, claiming they had converted to Islam.
On Sunday, in another attack believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram, at least 40 people were killed when a bomb exploded at a packed soccer stadium.