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US: Nigeria Abductions Sharpen Focus On Boko Haram
A girl wearing a T-Shirt with the inscription ” Chibok Brings Our Girls Back Alive” attends a demonstration calling on government to rescue kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, during workers day celebration in Lagos, Nigeria. Thursday, May, 1. 2014, Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday. At the same time, the Boko Haram terrorist network is negotiating over the students’ fate and is demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state community leader told The Associated Press. He said the Wednesday night message from the abductors also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites. The message was sent to a member of a presidential committee mandated last year to mediate a ceasefire with the Islamic extremists, said the civic leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the talks. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pledging to do everything possible to help return to their families more than 300 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped from their boarding school last month by the militant group Boko Haram.
Kerry said Thursday that a team of U.S. officials and agents from across the government are arriving in Nigeria now to help find the girls and help the Nigerian government counter threats from Boko Haram.
He said the abductions have captured the public’s attention about extremism across the world and brought a new focus on Boko Haram.
The homegrown terror group has links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and has killed thousands of people over the years.
Kerry said the world should condemn the kidnappings and help Nigeria in days ahead.