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US military joins search for Nigerian girls

US military joins search for Nigerian girls
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As Nigeria sees more protests over the spate of violence in recent days and the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram Islamists, the US says it has deployed about 80 military personnel to neighbouring Chad.

They will support intelligence and reconnaissance efforts already underway in northern Nigeria and the surrounding area to try to find the girls.

“The level of insecurity or the increase in insecurity in Nigeria is very alarming,” said Awwal Musa Rafranjani, Executive Director at the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, speaking at a protest in the capital Abuja.

“You know, you hear the increase of bombing, kidnapping and you know robbery and all sorts of criminal activities going on. This suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with our security network.”

Boko Haram has been blamed for a spate of bloodshed in recent days including back-to-back bomb blasts in the central city of Jos, which some reports say claimed as many as 200 lives.

Nigeria hopes the UN Security Council’s al-Qaida sanctions committee will formally blacklist Boko Haram on Thursday.

The group’s leader claims the kidnapped girls have converted to Islam,saying none will be freed unless Boko Haram prisoners are released in return.

Nigeria’s teachers are protesting today in support of the girls.