All girls in Islamist video are Chibok students

2014-05-14 05:30
A screengrab taken from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls wearing the full-length hijab. (AFP)

A screengrab taken from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls wearing the full-length hijab. (AFP)

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Abuja - The female hostages shown in a video released by Boko Haram have been identified as students of the secondary school attacked by the Islamists on 14 April, the area governor said on Tuesday.

"All the girls in that video were identified to be students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok," said northeastern Borno state's Governor Kashim Shettima.

Shettima spoke to demonstrators outside his residence in the capital Abuja, where the group had marched as a part of a wave of daily protests demanding the release of the girls.

The governor had organised a viewing of the video in Borno's capital Maiduguri for parents and relatives of the hostages.

"I thank God I saw my daughter... in the picture," Lawan Zannah told AFP at the government complex in Maiduguri, where the video was shown.

"They are our girls that were abducted one month ago," he said.

In the video, obtained by AFP on Monday, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau said the 223 girls he is holding hostage could be released if Nigeria frees members of the militant group it has in custody.

On Tuesday, Nigeria said it was open to dialogue with Boko Haram, including on a possible deal to secure the girls' release.

Shettima said the group that saw the video on Tuesday included the school's principal Asabe Kwabura, some parents and teachers.

Only 36 of the girls in the video were identified by name.

The remainder were definitively recognised as Chibok students, according to Shettima, but their names had not yet been established.

"Those girls are my own daughters," the governor said. "I am traumatised."

Read more on:    boko haram  |  abubakar shekau  |  nigeria  |  west africa
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