The Islamist militant group Boko Haram released a new video that claims to show little more than 100 girls kidnapped from a Nigerian school last month.
In the video released on Monday and obtained by the AFP news agency, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam. Three of the girls are shown speaking in the 17-minute video, wearing the full-length hijab, with one of them saying they had not been harmed. The group’s leader added the girls will not be released until all imprisoned militants had been freed.
Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 girls on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, and 11 girls were abducted from the Gwoza area of Borno state on May 4. Fifty-three girls managed to escape. Boko Haram threatened to sell them.
Boko Haram engaged in a violent campaign against the Nigerian government since 2009, by attacking schools teaching Western education, churches and government targets. The Nigerian government has been widely criticized for lacking immediate response, and recently the president Goodluck Jonathan has accepted help from the United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Israel, to help in the search effort.