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British, US experts arrive to help Nigeria search



By HARUNA UMAR

BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) - British experts arrived in the Nigerian capital on Friday to help find at least 276 girls being held by Islamic militants in northeastern Nigeria as an international effort began taking hold.

The experts are expected to work closely with U.S. officials and agents in the search for the missing girls, the British government said as Boko Haram militants continued to stage attacks in northeastern Nigeria. China and France have also promised help, and the deputy prime minister of Spain, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, told reporters in Madrid on Friday that her government had decided to make available a specialist police team to assist, if Nigeria approves.

Britain said its aim was not only to help with the current crisis but to defeat Boko Haram.

"The team will be considering not just the recent incidents but also longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram," the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said in a statement Friday.

A local government official confirmed that the Islamic extremists bombed a bridge linking the town of Gamboru to the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, the headquarters of the Nigerian military offensive. Gamboru was attacked on Monday by Boko Haram, leaving many dead. Estimates of the death toll from that attack ranged from 100 to as many as 300. Local security officials said on Friday that Boko Haram militants bombed the bridge as they retreated following the attack on Gamboru's main market, where at least 50 bodies have since been discovered from the debris of burned shops.

Is It Too Late To Save The Missing Nigerian Girls?


Communications with the remote town are difficult and it was not immediately possible to reconcile conflicting accounts of when the bridge was bombed. One account said Monday while another said Thursday.

Local traders in Gamboru said Friday that their businesses were suffering, with trailers and heavy trucks now stranded on either side of the damaged bridge.

"We are in trouble," said Gamboru resident Mamman Abu.

The bombing of the bridge also prevents army convoys reaching Gamboru while leaving the way open for the insurgents to escape across a strategic bridge into neighboring Cameroon - a bridge leading into mountains where the militants are known to have hideouts in caves.

The mass kidnapping of the schoolgirls has focused the world's attention on Boko Haram, and on the many civilian victims of the extremists.

President Goodluck Jonathan said at an economic forum on Thursday: "I believe that the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria."

But his government stands accused of being slow to mount operations to rescue the girls, who were kidnapped on April 15, charges the government vehemently denies. The military said in a strong statement late Thursday that it opposed what it said were the attempts of some civic groups to "drag the military into politics."

Boko Haram has staged many attacks in northeastern Nigeria over the years, a campaign of bombings and massacres that has intensified in recent times despite a strong military presence there. Since May 2013 there has been a state of emergency in three northeaster Nigerian states wracked by Boko Haram violence.

Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 people this year. The militants, who want to impose Islamic Shariah law on Nigeria, abducted more than 300 girls from a boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok. Fifty-three escaped but 276 remain captive. In a video seen by The Associated Press, Boko Haram's leader threatens to sell the girls into slavery.

The government of Borno state, where Chibok is located, on Thursday identified the girls who escaped, potentially subjecting the girls to stigma in this conservative society.

The government said in a statement received Friday that the girls it identified by name include those who fled the day they were kidnapped and those who escaped from Boko Haram camps days later. It did not explain the decision to name the girls.

Chibok residents staged a street protest Friday to press Borno's government to do more to find the missing girls.

__

Associated Press writer Harold Heckle in Madrid contributed to this report.


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wnagle53 May 10 2014 at 7:32 AM

what this place needs is a good community organizer.

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bigred8690 May 09 2014 at 11:27 PM

We should buy these girls, then send in the Marines, wipe out Boko Haram and take our money back.

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kmcc895370 May 09 2014 at 8:33 PM

I wonder how long before the Nigerian people turn on us and want us out of their country? That's usually what happens after we move in and 'help' people. Also it seems their government doesn't give a rat's ass what happens to those girls.

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b515 May 09 2014 at 8:22 PM

Did Michelle arrive in her combat gear? Or was there another fashion event on her schedule?

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Pumpkinpie May 09 2014 at 8:06 PM

BIAFRA, WE MISS YOU SO MUCH.

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Erbie's May 09 2014 at 7:33 PM

I think this is great. The United States and England to help find the girls. Where the hell is any Arab state trying to help? How much money does the Untied States or Great Britian give these countries, what kind of military do they have protecting their home fronts or are we the ones protecting their home fronts so they can keep the billions of dollars from oil from leaving their bank accounts. How many Islamic countries are in that area how many Islamic armies are close to get rid of terrorist, but I bet there are a lot of green backs in that area.

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2 replies
Pumpkinpie Erbie's May 09 2014 at 8:04 PM

NEXT TIME your COLONIAL NATION starts destabilising another country for it's own interest, tell your leaders to back off.
NIGERIA is BRITISH CREATION, A STILLBORN CHILD THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABORTED.
If HAROLD WILSON had not handed Nigeria to the Northern PUPPETS in the late 1960s, we would not be talking about this mayhem today.
USA looked the way while Northern Nigeria Bombed market places and primary schools full of children in broad day light.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE.
AFRICA IS A MESS TODAT BECAUSE of WESTERN COLONIALISTS. Who killed Africa's rising star patriotic politicians?

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1 reply
songbirdgray Pumpkinpie May 09 2014 at 11:34 PM

NIGERIAN'S GOVERNMENT IS VERY CORRUPT , THEY PROBABLY SOLD THE WEAPONS THIS GROUP USED TO KIDNAP THESE GIRLS. BUT WE KEEP GIVING MONEY , OBAMA SENT LOTS OF MONEY AND FIGHTER JETS TO MORSI IN EGYPT AND THEY WERE TERRORISTS, WHAT IS GOING ON?? WELL I THINK WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT.

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rmontenero Erbie's May 09 2014 at 8:37 PM

i couldn't have said it better. nice to see someone whos eyes are open. oh yeah when do u think they will tell us infidels to get out. i have had it with muzlim countries. help us, then get the hell out!!!

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mikorose1313 May 09 2014 at 6:55 PM

Glad Britain stepped up! This is not Political. It's about fighting Evil People. Humans stepping up to save other humans. If it's made Political it's BS!

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Mimar7313 May 09 2014 at 6:52 PM

why are we helping an African nation with a kidnapping problem , when we have a kidnapping problem here. Where is the priority.

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2 replies
Lee_O2 Mimar7313 May 09 2014 at 7:18 PM

What the heck are your police and sheriffs doing? What priority does your Governor, mayor and legislature have? Did they put a proposal forward to the congress and President to help? You and your locals want to sit back and have the nation solve your problems when you have resources. Get law enforcement off the streets writing traffic tickets and put them to crime prevention, it's not that many traffic accidents they prevent.

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Katai Mimar7313 May 09 2014 at 7:21 PM

Innerspace const.

We need to help 276 girls.

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qtxusa May 09 2014 at 6:51 PM

Where's "Code Pink"???? I'm guessing they're sitting on the horns of a dilemma right about now. What say they about drones?

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2 replies
Lee_O2 qtxusa May 09 2014 at 7:19 PM

That's what I am talking about.

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songbirdgray qtxusa May 09 2014 at 11:36 PM

CODE PINK LOL. THEY ARTE IRRELEVANT .

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nick May 09 2014 at 11:35 PM

we should stay out of this it not our problem this country has more important issues to deal with

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2 replies
keithj77441 nick May 10 2014 at 12:30 AM

For sure----like homo marriage, right?

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PsychedelicSpell nick May 10 2014 at 1:37 AM

When you have a crime against humanity you do not turn your back. This has been going on for a long time and its about time this administration acknowledged it. And at least trying to do something. Now will it be successful? I do not know. They could not get our men out of Benghazi so I fear for those girls. But to do nothing is not acceptable. The we have problems here, that excuse is not an American mind set. Its a toxic one. One that isolates and gives a sense of entitlement.
What has been done to the young boys and girls there is heartbreaking. Compliancy is approval in the mind of a terrorist. So change your mind set. Because if not and your vocal about it your enabling the terrorists.

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