US to help Nigeria rescue 276 kidnapped girls

The United States will send a team of military and law enforcement personnel to Nigeria to assist in the search for 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by an extremist group, the White House said Tuesday.

Secretary of State John Kerry offered to dispatch the "interdisciplinary team" in a phone call with Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday morning, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

The team would "provide expertise on intelligence, investigations and hostage negotiations [that] could help facilitate information-sharing and provide victim assistance," according to the White House spokesman.

"It would include U.S. military personnel, law enforcement officials with expertise in investigations and hostage negotiations, as well as officials with expertise in other areas that may be helpful to the Nigerian government in its response," Carney added.

Boko Haram, an Islamist group, has abducted hundreds of teenage girls, and threatened to sell them into slavery. The group opposes providing Western education to women.

The group is active in the country's remote northeast region, where Nigeria's military has been unable to rescue the abducted girls. In a video taking responsibility for the kidnappings, the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, threatened to attack more schools, according to reports.

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