Update: Nigerian girls likely split, taken across country border
Nigerian authorities say that hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by an Islamic terrorist group have most likely been separated and taken out of the country.
“By God’s grace, we will conquer the terrorists. I believe the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end for terror in Nigeria,” [Nigerian President Goodluck] Jonathan said at the opening of the World Economic Forum meeting in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.
He also acknowledged the offers of help from the United States, Britain, China and France, all of which have offered help in the weeks-old search for the girls who were snatched in mid-April from their beds at an all-girls school in rural northeastern Nigeria.
But the task of recovering the girls appeared to grow more complicated with news that U.S. intelligence believe the 276 girls have been split up.
“We do think they have been broken up into smaller groups,” U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, special envoy for global education for the U.N., said the search must be in Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
The girls have been missing since April 14 when Boko Haram militants abducted them from the Government Girls Secondary School in rural Chibok, some 600 miles from the capital of Abuja.
Boko Haram executed yet another kidnapping of 8 additional girls on Sunday when they invaded the village of Warabe.
Shehu Sani, a former negotiator between Boko Haram and the government, believes the group targeted the girls to force concessions. Starting possibly, with the release of its followers from prisons.
Boko Haram is believed to be going after those trying to find the girls. On Monday, Gamboru Ngala, a remote state capital near the Nigeria-Cameroon border, was attacked. Some 310 victims were burned alive. The area had being used as a staging ground for troops in the search for the girls.
Check back for updates.
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