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Nigerian paper names kidnapped girls

Cape Town -

The names of 197 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram were revealed on Friday by local newspaper This Day, more than three months after their abduction.

Nigerian teenager Deborah Peters, the sole survivor of a Boko Haram attack on her family in 2011, holds up a sign referring to the abducted Chibok girls. File picture: Kevin Lamarque. Credit: Reuters

The insurgents abducted more than 220 girls from their dormitory in the northern town of Chibok on April 14.

Fifty-three of the teenagers managed to escape, but President Goodluck Jonathan's government has no trace of the others, despite technological and diplomatic support from several Western nations.

The newspaper, whose journalists had visited the girls' families in Chibok and painstakingly collected the names, also published head shots of 142 out of the 197.

For the first time since the abduction, an almost comprehensive list of the girls exists.

President Jonathan has come under severe criticism in Nigeria for not acting fast enough and not making available sufficient resources to rescue the girls.

Together with the names, the newspaper also published a list of which exams the girls took shortly before their abduction, with most majoring in “government” (politics) and physics.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has killed more than 2 000 people in Nigeria's north this year alone. When it first launched attacks in 2009, the insurgents mainly targeted Christians, under the pretext of wanting to establish an Islamic state.

Since mid-2013, Boko Haram has focused its attacks on government security agents as well as on civilians of both the Christian and Muslim faiths in their homes, markets, hospitals and schools. - Sapa-dpa

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