Fri, May 09, 2014 - Page 7 News List

US, China join search for Nigerian girls

GLOBAL OUTRAGE:While suspected Boko Haram militants have been carrying out fresh attacks, world powers have pledged support to rescue kidnapped schoolgirls

AFP, KANO, Nigeria

US first lady Michelle Obama expressed sympathy for the schoolgirls, in a personal message on Twitter.

“Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It’s time to #BringBackOurGirls,” she said on her @FLOTUS account, with a photograph of her solemnly holding a sign saying #BringBackOurGirls” scribbled in black on white paper.

The tweet was signed “mo,” meaning she wrote it herself, and it was retweeted more than 8,500 times in just a few hours.

British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the kidnappers as “pure evil” and said a small team of planning and coordinating specialists would head to Nigeria as soon as possible. Britain is expected to send Abuja-based liaison officers from the SAS special forces to help the rescue mission, the Times reported yesterday.

France and China also pledged assistance.

As well as mounting pressure over the kidnappings, Nigeria has been hit by a spate of bombings.

Just a few hours before the mass abduction in Chibok, a car bombing at a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja killed 75 people. A copycat bombing at the same station killed 19 people on Thursday last week.

Jonathan had hoped that a World Economic Forum summit which opened in Abuja on Wednesday would highlight Nigeria’s economic progress.

Meeting Jonathan in Abuja ahead of what has been dubbed “Africa’s Davos,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) pledged stronger cooperation with Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, but public focus has remained fixed on Boko Haram.

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