Nigerian group demands prisoners' release in exchange for kidnap - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Nigerian group demands prisoners' release in exchange for kidnapped girls

Updated:
LAGOS, Nigeria -

A new video has emerged of the girls abducted in Nigeria last month, along with a demand from the kidnappers.

The leader for Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group claiming responsibility for the abductions, says the girls will not be released until prisoners are freed.

The video shows a group of about 100 girls wearing full veils and praying. The kidnappers say the girls have been converted to Islam.

The Nigerian government is under intense pressure to get back the girls. About 50 managed to escape, but nearly 300 are still missing.

A team from the United States is part of the international crew working with the government to rescue the girls.

Meantime, a schoolgirl who escaped Boko Haram attacked her school said teachers fled the school before the militants arrived.

"The time that this thing happened to us, we are in the school so we are sleeping in the room and we are hearing the gun so that we come out and we sit in outside so that we are sitting. And all the staff, they run and they leave us in the school," said Godiya Simon, escaped student.

Her father said school staff either ran, leaving the girls alone, or told them to stay in their dorms. The teachers were staying in their own dorm within the school area, Walter Simon said.

"Those teachers tell them that don't run. They tell them don't run and one of the teacher locked the gate and there is no way for them to escape," he said.

On Sunday, there were prayers for the girls.

"We beg these kidnappers, in the name of almighty Allah, they should just forgive and forget whatever is grievous and release the students to their parents in good health," said Dr. Khadijat Yusuf.

A special advisor said Sunday that the government will not ransom for the girls. He said the government is determined to get the girls back but will not pay ransom.

"The government of Nigeria has no intention to pay ransom or to buy the girls because the sale of human beings is a crime against humanity and the determination of the government is to get the girls and to ensure that the impunity that has brought this about is checked and punished," said Dr. Reuben Abati, presidential special advisor.

A former vice president of Nigeria said the government has failed to stop Boko Haram.

"This is a clear case of mismanagement of a small group of bandits who have been allowed to really grow into a monstrous, you know, terrorist organization that we now have," said Atiku Abubakar.

Many parents of the girls wait in the capital for any word on their daughters.

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