Bring Back Our Girls: DC protestors rally to save abducted Niger - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Bring Back Our Girls: DC protestors rally to save abducted Nigerian schoolgirls

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Photo: Bob Barnard/FOX 5 Photo: Bob Barnard/FOX 5
WASHINGTON - Protestors gathered Tuesday outside the Embassy of Nigeria in D.C. to urge government officials to take action to save more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from a Nigerian school three weeks ago.  An estimated 276 girls were abducted at the hands of Nigeria's Islamic extremist leader, Abubakar Shekau, who has now claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction.  

Organizers say insufficient response from the Nigerian government following the abduction prompted them to plan the public demonstration.  They're demanding that the Nigerian military and police uphold their duty to deploy search and rescue efforts.  

Nigerian police have said that more than 300 girls were abducted, with 276 still in captivity and 53 others who have escaped.  The U.S. announced Tuesday they will send a team to Nigeria to aid in the search for the girls.

The protest was taking place on the eve of the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will be held in Abuja on May 7-9.  

Participants were encouraging supporters to tweet with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirlsDC on Twitter, and to search that hashtag for more information and updates.

In a new videotape released Monday, Shekau warned that his group plans to stage more school attacks and abduct more girls.  

"I abducted your girls," said the leader of Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sinful."

In the video, he described the girls as "slaves" and said, "By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace."  He also said the girls "will remain slaves with us," which appears to be a reference to the ancient Jihadi custom of enslaving women capture in a holy war.  They can then be used for sex.  

The video was reviewed by The Associated Press, and both the face and the voice of the leader of Boko Haram were recognizable.

The Associated Press reports it's not yet clear if the video was made before or after reports began emerging last week that some of the girls have been forced to marry their abductors, while others were carried into Chad and Cameroon.  The AP said those reports weren't able to be verified.

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