Nigeria rejected conditions set out by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists. The leader of the Nigerian Islamist rebel group Boko Haram had offered to release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by his fighters last month in exchange for its members being held in detention, according to a video posted on YouTube on Monday (May 12). (Source: AP)
Asked if the government would reject the suggestion by Shekau in a new video that the girls may be released once Nigeria frees all militant prisoners, Interior Minister Abba Moro told AFP: "Of course." (Source: Reuters)
About 100 girls wearing full veils and praying are shown in an undisclosed location in a part of the 17-minute video in which Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks. ( Source: Reuters )
Boko Haram militants, who are fighting for an Islamist state, stormed a secondary school in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14 and seized 276 girls who were taking exams. Some have managed to escape, but about 200 remain missing.
In a 1.25-minute segment of the YouTube video, scores of girls in black and grey veils sit on the ground, chant and sing. Shekau, wearing military fatigues and holding an AK-47, then addresses the camera. He appears confident and at one point even laughs. ( Source: Reuters )
"All I am saying is that if you want us to release the girls that we have kidnapped, those who have not accepted Islam will be treated as the Prophet (Mohammad) treated infidels and they will stay with us," he said, according to a translation of his words originally spoken in a Nigerian language. "We will not release them while you detain our brothers," he said, before naming a series of Nigerian cities. It was not clear if he was in the same location as the girls, although the release of the video appeared to signal a willingness on his part to negotiate. ( Source: AP )
Nigeria has deployed two army divisions to hunt for the girls, while several countries, including the United States, Britain, Israel and France, have offered help or sent experts.
Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, speaks during a press conference on the abducted school girls in Abuja, Nigeria. ( Source: AP )
Nigerian authorities met with some of the experts on Monday and plan further meetings with the West African country's defence and security agencies, a government statement said.
Marilyn Ogar, Secret police spokeswoman, left, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, 2nd left, Mike Omeri, Director General, National Orientation Agency, 2nd right, and Frank Mba, National police spokesman, attend a press conference on the abducted school girls. ( Source: AP )
Women hold signs during a rally near the Nigerian embassy to raise to show support for the release of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria in Paris. ( Source: AP )
Obiageli Ezekwesili, former World Bank vice president and former Minister of Education, addresses a sit-in protest calling for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok, at the Unity Fountain Abuja. ( Source: Reuters )
Activists shout slogans and hold signs during a protest for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok, along a road in Lagos. ( Source: Reuters )
A woman, with a sign on her back, takes part in a protest demanding the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok, along a road in Lagos. ( Source: Reuters )
A student holds a sign with an image of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau as she protests for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok. ( Source: Reuters )