More countries join hunt for girls abducted by Boko Haram

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

KANO, May 7, 2014 (AFP) – World powers, including the United States and China, said yesterday they would join in the hunt for more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists who also killed hundreds in northeastern Nigeria this week.

As shock reverberated over the mass abduction of the teenagers, the United States and France said they would send specialist teams to Nigeria, while London agreed to deploy “satellite imaging capabilities”.

China promised to supply “any useful information acquired by its satellites and intelligence services” to Nigeria.

The police yesterday offered $300,000 for information leading to the rescue of the girls.

The flurry of effort to track the girls coincided with gruesome details emerging from an attack by Boko Haram which razed the town of Gamboru Ngala on the border with Cameroon this week, firing on civilians as they fled.

Area Senator Ahmed Zanna said 300 were killed, citing information provided by locals, in an account supported by numerous residents. He added that the town had been left unguarded because soldiers based there had been redeployed north towards Lake Chad in an effort to rescue the kidnapped girls.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has sought to appear more engaged with the plight of the hostages in recent days, especially after Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau released a video threatening to sell the girls as “slaves”.

In a second kidnapping, 11 more girls aged 12 to 15 years were seized Sunday from Gwoza, an area not far from Chibok. All the targeted villages fell in Borno state, Boko Haram’s base.

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