AFRICANGLOBE – The United States surveillance airplane has been flying over remote areas of northeastern Nigeria as part of an international hunt for about 200 schoolgirls kidnapped a month ago by Boko Haram savages who stormed their school.
Thousands of Nigerian troops have been sent to the region, while the United States and Britain also have teams on the ground to help with the search.
The US State Department said Washington had sent military, law-enforcement and development experts to Nigeria to help search for the missing girls. “We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government’s permission,” a U.S. official said.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said U.S. teams on the ground “are digging in on the search and coordinating closely with the Nigerian government as well as international partners and allies”.
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had posted a video on Monday offering to release the girls in exchange for prisoners held by the government – the first visual evidence of them in captivity.
The government said in response that it was exploring all options. The video showed more than 110 girls sitting on the ground in a rural location chanting, singing and wearing veils.
It was not clear when it was filmed or whether Shekau, who sat in front of a green backdrop holding an AK-47 during part of the video, was in the same location as the girls. A mother of one of the girls said she watched the video on television on Monday evening and spotted her daughter among the girls sitting on the ground, said Dumoma Mpur, parent-teachers association chairman at Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok.