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Nigeria kidnappings 'outrageous, heartbreaking': Obama

Published on May 7, 2014 9:28 AM
 

KANO, Nigeria (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday described the kidnapping of more than 220 schoolgirls by Islamists in Nigeria as "heartbreaking" and "outrageous" as Washington deployed military experts in the hunt for the children.

Mr Obama urged global action against Boko Haram and confirmed Nigerian leaders had accepted an offer to deploy US personnel there, soon after residents said the extremist group had seized eight more girls, aged between 12 and 15, again in the embattled northeast.

The first group of girls were taken three weeks ago, and concerns have been mounting about their fate after Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility, saying his group was holding the schoolgirls as "slaves" and threatening to "sell them in the market".

Speaking to US broadcaster ABC, Mr Obama said: "It's a heartbreaking situation, outrageous situation."

One of the mothers of the missing Chibok school girls wipes her tears as she cries during a rally by civil society groups pressing for the release of the girls in Abuja on May 6, 2014, ahead of World Economic Forum. Members of civil society groups marched through the streets of Abuja and to the Nigerian defence headquarters to meet with military chiefs, to press for the release of more than 200 Chibok school girls abducted three weeks ago. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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