[Screengrab from video obtained by AFP of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claiming responsibility for abducting the schoolgirls]
US President Barack Obama has sent a team of experts to help in the search for more than 200 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. The students were kidnapped on April 14.
President Obama on Tuesday told US media that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had accepted Washington’s offer for assistance to find the kidnapped school girls.
Obama confirmed that the US had sent a team of experts of “military, law enforcement, and other agencies,” to help find the missing girls.
Obama called the kidnappings “heartbreaking” and “outrageous” and said the US will do “everything we can” to help Nigeria.
“In the short term our goal is obviously is to help the international community, and the Nigerian government, as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies,” he said.
He also said that in the long term, “we’re also going to have to deal with the broader problem of organizations like this that can causes such havoc in people’s day-to-day lives.”
Boko Haram militants kidnapped the girls from a secondary school in Borno state on April 14 sparking international outrage.
A video from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau viewed by the media Monday, claimed the attack in the name of the Islamist group. He said the girls were being held as “slaves” for sale “in the market.”
The news from Obama came as eight more school girls were kidnapped by gunmen on Tuesday from the village of Warabe, in the northeast.
Boko Haram has led a five-year uprising in Nigeria which has cost thousands of lives. The group has vowed to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, which is predominantly Muslim.
hc/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)