U.S. military officials are expected to arrive in Nigeria on Friday to help in the search for hundreds of girls kidnapped by Islamist militants, the Pentagon said.
The seven will join a team already advising Nigeria on the search, said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, who serves as Pentagon press secretary.
About 60 U.S. interagency members have been on the ground since before the kidnappings as part of counterterrorism efforts with Nigeria, a senior U.S. administration official told CNN. They have been holding meetings, getting resources into the country and making assessments with local authorities.
“Our interagency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now and they are going to be working … with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.
Their tasks include establishing a coordination cell to provide intelligence, investigations and hostage negotiation expertise.
There are no plans to send American combat troops, according to Kirby.
SOURCE: Vladimir Duthiers and Faith Karimi