Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Kidnappers release video of girl hostages

In this  photo taken from video  by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab and praying in Arabic. It is the first public sight of the girls since more than 300 were kidnapped from a northeastern school the night of April 14  exactly four weeks ago. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab and praying in Arabic. It is the first public sight of the girls since more than 300 were kidnapped from a northeastern school the night of April 14 exactly four weeks ago. (AP Photo)

Footage of scores of girls kidnapped by Islamist militants in Nigeria demonstrates the "horror and barbarity" of the crime, Downing Street has said.

A video released by Boko Haram claims to show around 130 of the victims who were seized from a school last month.

The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, is seen insisting that the girls will be held until all imprisoned militants have been freed.

There has been speculation that the comments could pave the way for a negotiated settlement, as Shekau has previously insisted the hostages would be sold.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said the Government had yet to examine the video in depth. "It underlines the horror and the barbarity of the actions in the kidnapping of these girls," the spokesman said.

"It underlines the importance of working with and in support of the Nigerian authorities and Nigerian people in terms of trying to bring about the release of the kidnapped girls, which is so important."

Earlier, Mr Cameron refused to criticise the response of the Nigerian authorities, telling LBC radio that everyone was working "around the clock" to try to free the victims.

"It's a very difficult situation," the premier added.

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