Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Names of 110 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria released

The Nigerian government has released the names of the 110 missing girls, some as young as 11 years old, who have not been seen since a raid on their school in Dapchi last week.

Fighter jets, helicopters and surveillance planes have all been deployed in the search for the girls, who vanished after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked the Government Girls Science Technical College.

According to a list of names released by the authorities Tuesday, the missing are aged between 11 and 19. The names have been verified by a panel of school administrators and government officials, according to a statement by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture.

As of Monday evening, the Nigerian Air Force had flown a total of 200 hours while searching for the girls. Nigeria's Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, has been relocated to Yobe State, where Dapchi is located, to personally supervise the search, the government statement said.

The school is only 275 kilometers (170 miles) from Chibok, where Boko Haram militants kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in 2014.

After global outrage and prolonged negotiation, many of the Chibok girls were later freed but more than 100 are still missing, thought to be held in a number of unknown locations.

The father of one of the girls who was taken from Dapchi, Bashir Manzo, told CNN he isn't happy with the way the government has handled the situation.

"My daughter Aisha Kachalla is missing and we can't get any information from school because soldiers are all over there," said Manzo, who is also the newly elected head of the parent's association.

"No security came to Dapchi the day the men came, now over a hundred soldiers have taken over the village."

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the raid was a "national disaster" and promised the families of the missing girls their children would be returned.

"We are sorry that it happened; we share your pain. Let me assure that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return all the missing girls," Buhari said in a Twitter statement.

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