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Nigerian President Orders Push to Free Kidnapped Girls

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered top security officials to do everything possible to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last month by suspected Islamist extremists.

In a broadcast appearance Sunday, Mr. Jonathan promised "... anywhere the girls are, we will surely get them out."

The president described it as a "trying" and "painful time" and pleaded for the cooperation of parents, guardians and local communities in the rescue efforts.

The girls were abducted April 15, in the town of Chibok in Borno state. About 50 of the 276 abducted girls are said to have since escaped.

The kidnapping has been blamed on the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, whose five-year insurgency has killed thousands. The group has not claimed responsibility

Local officials say they believe some of the girls have been moved across the border into Cameroon and Chad.

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