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77 Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram identified in video

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 6:50pm IST | Agency: IANS

Out of the over 200 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, 77 have been identified in a video posted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, an official said Wednesday.

According to government spokesman Isa Gusau, parents, school officials and school mates of the abducted girls identified faces of the captives when the video was made available at the Government House in Maiduguri, capital of the northeastern state of Borno, Xinhua reported.

More than 200 girls of the Chibok community in Borno were abducted April 14.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping Monday and threatened to sell the girls.

"So far, 77 of the girls in the video have been identified by their names at an exercise that involved some parents of the girls, fellow students that include escapees from abduction, some teachers, security men and some officials of government," said Gusau in a statement.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, after watching the Boko Haram video, directed a re-production of it for public viewing by parents and friends of the abducted students.

The video showed some girls reciting Arabic verses, dressed in hijab, in a secluded area with the voice of a man being heard in the background.

The man, Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram who was reported dead by the Nigerian military more than six months ago, said that the sect would not free the girls until its fighters in detention were freed.

He said all the girls have converted to Islam.

The girls shown in the video appeared unhurt.

"All the girls in the video are believed to be part of the abducted girls, but Governor Shettima has insisted that the names of all the girls in the video must be established and compared with school and security records. The comparison will be done Wednesday as identification exercise continues through the night until every person in that video is named," Gusau added.

Many international agencies and groups have offered assistance to Nigeria, following the mass abduction.

People around the world have showed their support for the girls by taking part in protests and joining an online campaign, "Bring Back Our Girls", on social networking sites calling for their rescue.




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