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Boko Haram agrees to exchange kidnapped schoolgirls for prisoners

By Michelle Kapusta,

The leader of extremist group Boko Haram has released a video and threatened that he will not give up the kidnapped schoolgirls until all militant prisoners are freed.

NBC News noted that in the video first obtained by Agence France-Presse, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, claimed that the abducted girls have converted to Islam.

"These girls have become Muslims," Shekau said. "We will never release them until after you release our brethren."

Reuters reported that at one point in the video, the schoolgirls can be seen praying and chanting in black and grey veils, as Shekau addresses the camera.

On April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from the Government Girls' Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state. While some have been able to escape their captors the majority are still missing.

The abductions have gained international attention and caused public outrage.

On Friday, the U.S. and UK arrived in Nigeria to assist in the search for the missing girls. Israel, France and China have also offered to help or have sent experts to the country.

 
 

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