Girls who escaped Boko Haram named

Bauchi -

The government of a Nigerian state identified 53 girls who escaped a mass kidnapping by Islamic militants, potentially subjecting the girls to stigma in this conservative society.

A protester holds a sign as she demonstrates against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London. Picture: Olivia Harris. Credit: REUTERS

About 276 girls remain missing, and US officials and agents are arriving in Nigeria to help the Nigerian government, which has been widely criticised for not doing enough to find the girls.

Reuben Abati, a spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said in a statement late on Thursday that the president had met with the US ambassador to discuss “the modalities for the actualisation” of the US offer of help.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic law on Nigeria, abducted more than 300 girls from a boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok on April 15.

The government of Borno state, where Chibok is located, said in a statement received on Friday that the 53 girls it identified by name include those who fled the day they were kidnapped and those who escaped from Boko Haram camps days later.

Chibok residents are staging a street protest Friday to press Borno's government to do more to find the missing girls.

Boko Haram has killed more than 1 500 people this year. - Sapa-AP