May 10, 2014
By Kingsley Omonobi, Henry Umoru and Victoria Ojeme-Abuja, with agency report
There were indications yesterday that the 230 female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, Borno State, have been sited at the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, by the Special Forces of the United States Marines.
The girls who were abducted on April 14, were part of the 250 students boarded at the school for the West African School Certificate, WASC/ Senior Secondary School Certificate, SSSC, examinations, triggering world-wide condemnations.
This was even as more US military officials arrived Nigeria yesterday to join local officials in the search for nearly 300 school girls taken captives by the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the defence department, Pentagon, said.
The UK team had earlier arrived in Abuja to support Nigerian government in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls.
The arrival of the foreign troops is coming on the heels of the appeal yesterday by the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for Nigerians to unite and fight the insurgents to achieve success.
According to Kerry, “Our inter-agency 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.”
The CNN also quoted the U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, John Kirby, who serves as Pentagon press secretary, as saying that the small team of seven would join advisers supporting local efforts to find the girls abducted over three weeks ago.
Kerry said the US team, working with the Nigerian government, would do everything possible to free the girls and everything possible to stop the atrocities of Boko Haram.
“We are also going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram. The entire world should not only be condemning this outrage but should be doing everything possible to help Nigeria in the days ahead,” he added.
But there are no plans to send American combat troops into Nigeria, Mr. Kirby said.
The abduction of the school girls on April 14 in a remote community in Borno State, one of the most shocking terrorist acts by Boko Haram yet, has drawn widespread anger around the world with calls for a swift action.
President Goodluck Jonathan said Thursday that the kidnapping will be “the beginning of end” of Boko Haram.
US President Obama has said he hopes the abduction by Boko Haram will galvanize the international community to act against the brutal group that has directed much of its cruelty on civilians and the innocent.
This week, more than 100 people were killed in a busy market by militants suspected to be from the group. The attack occurred in Gamboru Ngala, Borno State, near the Nigerian border with Cameroun.
Besides the United States, Britain, France and China have also offered to help rescue the stolen girls.Obama said the team sent to Nigeria comprised personnel from military, law enforcement and other agencies.
France said it will station 3,000 troops in Nigeria’s neighbouring countries to help fight militants in the Sahel region.
British satellites and advanced tracking capabilities also will be used, and China has promised to provide any intelligence gathered by its satellite network.
Meanwhile in a statement yesterday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said, “a team of UK experts who will advise and support the Nigerian authorities in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls touched down in Abuja, Nigeria this morning”.
The team is drawn from across government, including DfID, FCO and the MoD, and will work with the Nigerian authorities leading on the abductions and terrorism in Nigeria. The team will be considering not just the recent incidents but also longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram.
The team will be working closely with their US counterparts and others to coordinate efforts.
US Marines find abducted girls, arrest Boko Haram leader
However, military sources said that apart from abducting the girls, the insurgents also carted away food items and vehicles as well as killing undisclosed number of people in Chibok on the fateful night.
The sources told Saturday Vanguard in Abuja that members of the United States Marines who are already in Maiduguri following the promise by President Barak Obama to assist Nigeria in rescuing the abducted girls, located the girls inside the forest, using some Satellite equipment which combed the forest, located an assembly of the young girls and sent the images back to the Marines on ground in Maiduguri.
Aside locating the whereabouts of the girls in the dense forest, it was also, further gathered that one of the leaders of terrorist group who participated in the abduction of the girls was arrested by a combined team of the US Marines and Nigerian forces.
Sources said that the Boko Haram leader was arrested, through an advanced interceptor equipment which was used to track the terrorist while exchanging information with his colleagues in Sambisa Forest about the movements of American and Nigerian soldiers in Maiduguri.
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His phone was subsequently traced to a location in Maiduguri where he was arrested and handed over to the Nigerian military.
The location of the girls in the forest is contrary to widespread reports that the girls had been distributed and ferried to the Nigerian border towns in Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
Senator Ahmed Zanna, representing Borno Central District in whose Maiduguri home, an alleged Boko Haram top commander was once arrested told the Senate last week that he gave the Military an up-to-date information on how the girls could be rescued, but lamented that his information was largely ignored.
He spoke against the backdrop of the claim by the Boko Haram leader, Sheik Abubakar Shekau, last week that the girls were booties of war, who would be sold into slavery.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/chibok-american-marines-locate-abducted-girls-sambisa-forest/#sthash.qZyEh9M5.dpuf