The Nigerian government has located 276 missing girls kidnapped in April by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, but said a rescue operation is too risky.
CBS News reported
Tuesday that Nigeria's Chief of Defense Alex Badeh told demonstrators who had been bussed in to offer support to the military just as much, saying, "The good news for the girls is we know where they are but we cannot tell you. We cannot come and tell you military secrets."
"Nobody should come and say the Nigerian military does not know what it is doing, we know what we are doing," he said. "We can't go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back."
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As military leaders take the possibility of a rescue off the table, CBS claimed sources close to the Nigerian government have also reported that the weeks-long negotiations have broken down. President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly backed out of a deal he struck with Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, for reasons unknown. Previously, the two were said to have been nearing completion of a deal to trade captured Boko Haram soldiers in exchange for the girls.
Two weeks ago Shekau released a video bragging about the kidnapping, claiming responsibility, and showing that he had converted the girls to Islam. Since then, the terrorist group has ramped up its usual activities of killing civilians through any means available. In the six weeks since the girls' abduction, over 200 have perished in attacks by the group.
U.S. officials sent to help strategize on getting the girls back safely have not commented on whether they know the girls' whereabouts, or what strategies, if any, are on the table for negotiating their safe return.
NPR reported that the Nigerian military has been a shaky source
of information in the past, and that the latest pronouncement may or may not be true. In one past instance, leaders said the girls had been freed just days after their abduction, a claim that proved false.
The Washington Post also pointed out
that the government has in the past weeks denied claims that they were near an agreement with Boko Haram, saying they will not negotiate with terrorists whatsoever.
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