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U.S. will send team to Nigeria to help search for kidnapped girls

Updated March 6th, 3 p.m. | White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that a U.S. team of military and law enforcement personnel will be sent to northeast Nigeria to help locate the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped from their school on April 15.

The team includes experts in intelligence, hostage negotiations and other skills to assist the Nigerian government in their search and rescue operation. The U.S. was not sending armed forces, Carney added.

Secretary of State John Kerry has also extended the offer in his conversation with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Carney added.

Original story as follows:

Islamist extremists known as Boko Haram have kidnapped eight girls, aged 12 to 15, from a village in northeastern Nigeria, local police said Tuesday.

The group’s raid of the village comes a day after they claimed responsibility for the mass abduction of more than 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in April. According to Nigeria police, while some of the girls were able to escape, 276 remain captured.

In a video released Monday, Boko Haram leader Abukakar Shekau threatened to sell the girls “in the market.” In the video, Shekau ranted against democracy in addition to calling for Western education to end. Boko Haram, loosely translates to “Western education is forbidden” from the local Hausa language.

Amnesty International said that violence connected to Boko Haram has left 1,500 people dead in Nigeria in the first three months of this year.

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