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Calls for US to act to save Nigerian schoolgirls

Published on May 6, 2014 6:34 AM
Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division (centre) Obiageli Ezekwesilieze leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom in Abuja on April 30, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Calls mounted on Monday for US action to help find and free more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped last month by Islamist militants, amid growing outrage and fears over their fate.

US officials said they worried many of the girls seized three weeks ago had now been smuggled across Nigeria’s borders into other countries, which could complicate already fruitless efforts to find them.

“We cannot close our eyes to the clear evidence of barbarity unfolding before us in Nigeria,” said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, her voice breaking as she addressed the Senate.

“This is one of those times when our action or inaction will be felt not just by those schoolgirls being held captive and their families waiting in agony, but by victims and perpetrators of trafficking around the world. Now is the time to act.”

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