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Nigeria: President, military disagree how to save abducted girls
May 27, 2014, 11:08 pm

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly received a video of the abducted girls pleading for a prisoner swap [Xinhua]

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly received a video of the abducted girls pleading for a prisoner swap [Xinhua]

As the Nigerian president and his military debate whether to launch an operation to rescue some 300 schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, neighbouring countries have started to boost their armed presence along the border areas for fear of similar violence.

On Tuesday, Cameroon deployed an additional 1,000 police and soldiers along its northern border with Nigeria, in particular near the troubled states of Adamawa and Borno, where Boko Haram is known to operate.

Last week, Washington announced that it had dispatched 80 soldiers and military experts to Chad, which sits on Nigeria’s northern border, to assist with efforts to rescue the abducted girls.

Boko Haram has also launched attacks in another northeastern Nigerian state – Yobe.

Late on Tuesday, police sources told the media that Boko Haram fighters attacked a police and army barracks in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe, killing 24 soldiers and 21 police officers.

Eyewitnesses said that nine villagers were also killed and their homes razed.

Meanwhile, the debate between President Goodluck Jonathan and his senior military officers has intensified.

The Nigerian military says it knows where the captive girls are being held but it fears launching any rescue operation could likely result fatally for the girls.

Nigerian media also reported that Jonathan had received a video of the girls pleading for a prisoner exchange that could secure their release. But the president, apparently after consultations with foreign allies, has refused to release prisoners in a reported swap agreement.

Boko Haram has added pressure on the government by launching a series of brazen attacks which have left hundreds killed and injured.

Last week, two bombs placed in a busy marketplace and at a bus terminal near a hospital in the central Nigerian city of Jos killed at least 130 people.

The twin bombings come a day after a suicide car bomber killed 25 people in northern Kano city. A bomb squad detonated another device there later in the day.

Nigeria says it needs help to deal with Boko Haram.

In March, Nigeria’s Senate President David Mark visiting UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson that international efforts are required to end the threat from the Boko Haram militant group.

Boko Haram debuted on the Nigerian stage in 2002 and has been calling for an end to secular-based law, to be replaced with Islamic Sharia law. It has been fighting government forces and raiding villages ever since, particularly in the country’s northeast.

The uptick in Boko Haram attacks in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa appears to come in response to a Nigerian military operation, which began last summer, to uproot the hard-line Islamist group, and a declaration of a state of emergency by Jonathan.

Source: Agencies

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