The desperate search for about 300 missing schoolgirls in Nigeria — kidnapped by the ruthless Boko Haram — may have come to an end, if what one official in the African country says is true.
According to a report in the News Agency of Nigeria, a top military official claims he knows the whereabouts of the kidnapped schoolgirls who have been missing since last month — but says that the military will not use force to rescue them.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh said:
“We want our girls back. I can tell you that our military can and will do it, but where they are held, can we go there with force?”
“Nobody should say Nigerian military does not know what it is doing; we can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.”
“The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you. We cannot come and tell you the military secret, just leave us alone, we are working to get the girls back.”
In the US, a Pentagon spokesperson was unable to confirm the report that the missing schoolgirls had been located in Nigeria, according to CNN.
The kidnapping of the hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram drew international outrage and a social media campaign with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was promoted by millions around the world, including many celebrities.
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On April 17, the terrorist group abducted about 276 schoolgirls from a boarding school in Chibok. Dozens were able to escape, though about 200 girls remain missing in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government has been accused of not acting in a timely fashion to prevent the kidnapping of the schoolgirls under the cover of night.
In the Hausa language, Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin” and the goal of the terrorist organization is to impose a stricter form of Sharia law in Nigeria.
Boko Haram attacks have increased in frequency in recent years throughout Nigeria, a nation that is half Muslim and half Christian. The kidnapping of the schoolgirls, who have been missing for more than a month, is just the latest in a very tense situation.
[Image via Twitter]