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New Boko Haram video of abducted girls

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 00:48

A mother of a Nigerian girl abducted by Boko Haram two years ago breaks down in tears as she watches the latest video of missing children from her community that aired on CNN.

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Esther Yakubu's daughter was abducted by Boko Haram two years ago. She joined other relatives of the girls in Abuja, on Thursday (April 14), on the anniversary of the kidnapping, to watch a video released by the militant group - the first possible sighting of the girls since May 2014. Her daughter is not in the video, which was aired on CNN. But she recognised many of the girls and broke down in tears. About 15 girls featured in the video released to local officials on Tuesday (April 12), saying they were from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and pleading with the Nigerian government to cooperate with Boko Haram on their release. The girls were filmed saying they were being treated well but wanted to go home and be with their families. Esther Yakubu said the girls had changed. "They are changed. I recognize them, I know they are our girls," she said. Boko Haram militants abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok on April 14, 2014, with 57 students managing to escape but 219 still missing despite a global campaign #bringbackourgirls involving celebrities and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. Various false leads have raised hopes of finding the girls but their whereabouts remains unknown. The Chairman of the Chibok community in Abuja, Tsambido Hosea, said the video still does not prove the girls are alive. "Actually what we want in that video is we want experts to go and screen and know the timing of the video. Yes, that will prove to us that yes these girls are really alive. Maybe they take that video two months after abduction we don't know, maybe a year after the abduction we don't know. But actually that video even though we are still to authenticate it brings another hope to people that if that is the case these girls truly is still alive," Hosea said. The kidnapping of the girls has become a political issue in Nigeria with the government and military criticised for their handling of the incident and failing to track down the girls. No member of Boko Haram was visible in the video and local officials were not immediately available to give details on how they received the video. About 2,000 girls and boys have been abducted by the Boko Haram since 2014, with many used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to Amnesty International. This week a report from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Boko Haram child suicide bombings have surged 11-fold in West Africa over the last year, with children as young as 8, mostly girls, used to bomb schools and markets. UNICEF said there were 44 child suicide bombings in West Africa in 2015, up from four in 2014, mostly in Cameroon and Nigeria. Boko Haram's six-year campaign to set up an Islamic emirate in northeastern Nigeria has killed some 15,000 people, according to the U.S. military.

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New Boko Haram video of abducted girls

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 00:48