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Search for abducted girls gets intl help

By Agencies in Kano and Abuja, Nigheria (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-09 07:24

World powers, including China and the United States, have joined in the search for the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists who have also killed hundreds in Nigeria's northeast this week.

Amid global outrage over the kidnapping of the teenagers, the US, the United Kingdom and France are sending specialist teams to Nigeria.

China also promised to supply "any useful information acquired by its satellites and intelligence services" to the country, Africa's top oil producer.

Meanwhile, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan pledged on Thursday to find the abducted schoolgirls, saying their rescue would mark "the beginning of the end of terrorism" in the country.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum being hosted in the capital Abuja, Jonathan also thanked foreign nations for their support in trying to rescue the girls, who were kidnapped from a secondary school on April 14.

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

Attack on civilians

The latest insurgent attack targeted the town of Gamboru Ngala on the Cameroonian border where gunmen this week razed scores of buildings and fired on civilians as they tried to flee.

Local Senator Ahmed Zanna put the death toll at 300, citing information provided by locals, in an account supported by numerous residents.

Zanna said the town had been left unguarded because soldiers based there had been redeployed north toward Lake Chad in an effort to rescue the kidnapped girls.

Nigeria's response to the kidnappings has been widely criticized, including by activists and parents of the hostages who say the military's search operation has been inept so far.

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 were seized on Sunday from Gwoza, an area not far from Chibok and also in Boko Haram's Borno base.

The group's five-year uprising has killed thousands across Africa's most populous country and top economy, with many questioning whether Nigeria has the capacity to contain the violence.

Islamist fighters riding in armored trucks and on motorcycles stormed Gamboru Ngala after midday on Monday.

The extremists overran the town, making it too dangerous for locals to immediately return, survivors said.

When the militants left, residents discovered their town "littered" with dead bodies, Musa Abba, a witness, told AFP.

AFP-Reuters

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