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Nigerian military says location of girls known, but wary of using force

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Women react during a protest demanding security forces to search harder for 200 abducted schoolgirls, outside Nigeria's parliament in AbujaNigeria’s military knows where the more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram are but has ruled out using force to rescue them, the state news agency quoted Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh as saying on Monday.

“The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you,” Badeh was quoted as saying. “But where they are held, can we go there with force? We can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.”

Most officials think any raid to rescue them would be fraught with danger and probably not worth the risk that the girls would be killed by their captors – an Islamist group that has shown a degree of ruthlessness in killing civilians.

Since the girls were captured seven weeks ago, at least 470 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria, in various locations, according to a Reuters count.

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