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Nigerian government 'knows' location of kidnapped school girls

The Nigerian military knows where the school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are, according to its chief of defense staff. The abduction had prompted an international campaign demanding the girls' safe return.

Over a month after a large group of Nigerian school girls went missing, the Nigerian military announced on Monday that it knew their whereabouts. The some 250 students, aged between 16 and 18, were kidnapped by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, on April 15.

"The good news for the girls is that we know where they are," Nigerian Air Chief Marshal Badeh told reporters in the capital Abuja on Monday.

However, the armed forces did not plan on releasing any information about the location of the missing girls.

It was not immediately clear if a rescue mission was underway.

Boko Haram has attempted to use the girls as leverage for a prisoner exchange. The terrorist cell's leaders have threatened to sell their victims abroad if authorities refuse to meet their demands.

International allies have deployed experts to the west African country to assist Nigerian authorities in the search efforts, while they continue to combat ongoing terrorist attacks from the group.

The abduction has shocked many in around the world. Michelle Obama – the wife of US President Barack Obama – kicked off a campaign on the social media site Twitter, dubbed #bringbackourgirls. The movement has raised not only international awareness about the plight of the victims' situation, but also raised the visibility of the havoc wrought upon Nigeria in recent years by Boko Haram.

kms/dr (AFP, Reuters)