Video Showing Over 100 Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Surfaces; Boko Haram Leader says Girls Will be Held Until Muslim Militants Are Freed

The BBC's John Simpson says the video, which shows more than 100 girls in hijabs, could be the first step in a negotiated settlement
The BBC’s John Simpson says the video, which shows more than 100 girls in hijabs, could be the first step in a negotiated settlement

A new video released by Islamist militants Boko Haram claims to show around 130 girls kidnapped from a school in Nigeria last month.

The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said they would be held until all imprisoned militants had been freed.

He said the girls had converted to Islam. The video, released on Monday, claims to show them praying.

Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls in northern Nigeria on 14 April and threatened to sell them.

The BBC’s John Simpson in the northern city of Maiduguri says Boko Haram’s comments show signs that the group is willing to negotiate.

Three of the girls – wearing full-length cloaks – are shown speaking in the 17-minute video, obtained by French news agency AFP.

Two girls say they were Christian and have converted to Islam, while the other says she is Muslim.

“These girls, these girls you occupy yourselves with… we have indeed liberated them. These girls have become Muslims,” Abubakar Shekau says in the video.

It is thought the majority of the abducted girls are Christians, although there are a number of Muslims among them.

Correspondents said the girls appeared calm and one said that they had not been harmed.

There is no indication of when or where the video was taken, although the location appears to be rural.

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SOURCE: BBC News

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