LAGOS- Boko Haram released a new video on Monday claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, speaks on the video obtained by AFP for 17 minutes before showing what he said were about 130 of the girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location.
A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing.
Families have said most girls abducted are of Christian faith.
The video shows a large group of girls sitting under a tree, reciting a prayer from Quran. An armed man is also visible in the video. One part of the video showing the girls is overlaid with music
The video received Monday by The Associated Press came through channels that have provided previous messages from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who also spoke in the video in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.
The mass abductions and failure of Nigeria’s government and military to rescue them has aroused national and international outrage.
Last week Nigeria belatedly accepted offers of help from the United States, Britain and others.
Report complied with information from AFP and The Associated Press.