Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap 8 more girls in Nigeria

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Residents of a northern Nigerian village say suspected Boko Haram militants have kidnapped eight more girls in the region. AFP
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have kidnapped eight girls aged between 12 and 15 from a village near one of their strongholds in north-east Nigeria, police and residents say.
A police source, who could not be named, said on Tuesday that the eight girls were taken away overnight on trucks, along with looted livestock and food.
"They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army colour. They started shooting in our village," said Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe.
The Islamist militant sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for last month\’s kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. The group is also threatening to sell them.
Militant leader Abubakar Shekau sent a video obtained by the AFP news agency, in which he said for the first time that his group had taken the girls.
"I abducted your girls," the group\’s leader Abubakar Shekau said on Monday in the 57-minute video obtained by the agency, referring to the hundreds of students kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Borno state, on April 14. 
"By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace," he said in the video that starts with fighters lofting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great."
The girls were in their final year of school, most of them aged 16 to 18.
Nigeria\’s President has appealed for international help to find, and ensure the release of, 276 schoolgirls abducted by suspected Boko Haram fighters, amid criticism over government inaction.
They were taken three weeks ago from their school in Borno state by suspected Islamist militants.
Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday that he had sought help from the US President Barack Obama, and also approached other world powers including Britain, France and China for help on security issues.
In a broadcast appearance Sunday, Jonathan promised "… anywhere the girls are, we will surely get them out."
The president described it as a "trying" and "painful time" and pleaded for the cooperation of parents, guardians and local communities in the rescue efforts.
The president said that despite searches by the army and the air force, the girls had not been found.
He asked for the co-operation of parents and the local communities in the rescue efforts, saying the "government needs assistance."
"It is a trying time for this country… it is painful," he added.
President Jonathan dismissed the suggestion that negotiations were taking place to secure the release of the girls, saying it was impossible to talk to Boko Haram.
The girls were abducted April 15, in the town of Chibok in Borno state. About 50 of the 276 abducted girls are said to have since escaped.
Unverified reports suggested that some of the girls were sold into marriagewith their abductors for $12.
Some of the girls were taken across Nigeria\’s borders to Cameroon and Chad, parents said last week, quoting villagers.
Islamist militants known as Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin", are believed to be behind the kidnapping of the girls from their school in Chibok.
Local officials say they believe some of the girls have been moved across the border into Cameroon and Chad.
Source: Agencies

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