Kidnapped girls: France pledges help for Nigeria

2014-05-07 13:31
A woman attends a mass-demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue hundreds of missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria. (Sunday Alamba, AP)

A woman attends a mass-demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue hundreds of missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria. (Sunday Alamba, AP)

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Paris -President Francois Hollande pledged on Wednesday that France would help Nigeria look for more than 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in an incident that has triggered global shock and condemnation.

The extremists seized a first batch of schoolgirls in Nigeria's restive northeast three weeks ago, saying they were holding them as "slaves" and threatening to sell them, and have since kidnapped other girls in the area.

"The president said that France will do everything to help Nigeria chase down this group and find the kidnapped hostages," government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll said after a cabinet meeting chaired by Hollande.

"We are dealing with one of the most atrocious forms of terrorism because it involves kidnapping and trafficking children," he added.

Described as "heartbreaking" and "outrageous" by US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, the kidnappings have drawn several pledges of help from the international community.

Washington has deployed military experts to Nigeria to help search for the girls and Britain has offered unspecified practical help.

Hollande's comments came as Boko Haram this week kidnapped another 11 girls from a village in Borno state, the epicentre of the group's five-year Islamist uprising.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  francois hollande  |  barack obama  |  us  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  abductions  |  nigeria kidnappings
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