US: Nigeria abductions sharpen focus on Boko Haram

In this image made from video received on Monday, May 5, 2014, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, speaks in a video in which his group claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction of nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria. Shekau threatened to sell the nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls abducted from a school in the remote northeast three weeks ago, in a new videotape received Monday. (AP Photo)
In this image made from video received on Monday, May 5, 2014, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, speaks in a video in which his group claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction of nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria. Shekau threatened to sell the nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls abducted from a school in the remote northeast three weeks ago, in a new videotape received Monday. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pledging to do everything possible to help return to their families more than 300 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped from their boarding school last month by the militant group Boko Haram.

Kerry said Thursday that a team of U.S. officials and agents from across the government are arriving in Nigeria now to help find the girls and help the Nigerian government counter threats from Boko Haram.

He said the abductions have captured the public’s attention about extremism across the world and brought a new focus on Boko Haram.

The homegrown terror group has links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and has killed thousands of people over the years.

Kerry said the world should condemn the kidnappings and help Nigeria in days ahead.

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