World
US flying 'manned' missions to find Nigerian girls
Publish Date: May 13, 2014
US flying 'manned' missions to find Nigerian girls
Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram group
  • mail
  • img
newvision


The United States was Monday flying "manned" missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 abducted schoolgirls as experts pored over a new video seeking clues to where they are being held.

"We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government's permission," a senior administration official said, asking not to be named.

It was not immediately clear what kinds of aircraft were being deployed, nor where they had come from.

But a new video released by the Boko Haram group purportedly showing about 130 of the girls was being carefully studied by American experts in the hope it might yield vital clues as to where they are being held.

"Our intelligence experts are combing through every detail of the video for clues that might help ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier Monday.

"We have no reason to question its authenticity," she added of the video.

In the video, the Islamic militant group's leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls may be released once Nigeria frees all the Boko Haram prisoners it has in custody.

But that proposal has been rejected by the Nigerian government, and Psaki recalled that the US policy is also "to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, including ransoms or concessions."

A 30-strong US team arrived on the ground last week in Nigeria to help growing efforts to find the girls aged between 16 to 18, snatched from their boarding school in the northeast of the country on April 14.

The White House said the team included five State Department officials, two strategic communications experts, a civilian security expert and a regional medical support officer.

Also on the manifest are 10 Defense Department planners already in Nigeria, seven extra military advisors from US Africa Command and four FBI officials expert in hostage negotiations.

"We are talking about helping the Nigerian government search an area that is roughly the size of New England," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, referring to the region in the US northeast.

"So this is no small task. But we are certainly bringing resources to bear in our effort to assist the government."

Psaki stressed the Nigerian authorities were "in the lead" during the investigation.

The girls' plight has triggered a storm of outrage across the United States, and First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday for the first time delivered her husband's weekly address to the nation to say they were both "outraged and heartbroken" by the kidnapping.

"This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education -- grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls," she said. AFP

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Leaders prepare final push in tight UK election
Britain's political leaders on Tuesday began a final push for votes ahead of this week's knife-edge general election while preparing for the likelihood of drawn-out negotiations once polls close....
IN PICTURES: Burundi unrest escalates
Burundi''s vice president said hundreds of protesters who were arrested would be released if protests end...
Burundi court okays third term bid
BURUNDI''S constitutional court has cleared President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a controversial third term, following days of deadly protests...
Britain
PRINCE William and his wife Kate have named their two-day-old baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and she will be known as Princess Charlotte of Cambridge...
Top Burundi judge flees country in dramatic twist
THE vice-president of Burundi''s constitutional court which was about to decide on the legality of a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza fled the country...
Burundi police shoot dead three in battles with protesters
Police in Burundi shot dead at least three demonstrators and wounded dozens of others Monday, in running battles with protesters angry at a bid by President Pierre Nkurunziza to extend his rule....
Should government scrap PLE?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter