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Nigeria pledges to find Chibok schoolgirls on third anniversary of abduction

Of the 276 girls taken in 2014 from a boarding school, 196 remain missing.

By Ed Adamczyk
Nigeria pledges to find Chibok schoolgirls on third anniversary of abduction
The 2014 abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram insurgent group brought international outrage. Nigeria noted the third anniversary of the kidnappings Friday with a pledge to rescue the remaining 196 captives. File Photo by SnapShot Photos/Shutterstock

April 14 (UPI) -- Nigeria's president restated his pledge to rescue the Chibok schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram insurgents on the third anniversary of their abduction Friday.

In a message to families of 196 girls still captive after the April 15, 2014, attack on their secondary school, President Muhammudu Buhari said that as a parent, "I feel what you feel." He said his government is in continuous negotiations through international intermediaries with the captors.

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"On this solemn occasion, my appeal is that we must not lose hope on the return of our remaining schoolgirls. Our intelligence and security forces, who have aptly demonstrated their competence, are very much equal to the task and absolutely committed to the efforts to find and return the schoolgirls and others abducted by Boko Haram," Buhari's message read in part.

The government has been known to exaggerate its successes against the Islamist group with Islamic State links in the past, and offered a similar message of hope several months ago, The New York Times reported Friday.

A group of 21 girls was released in October after negotiations involving the Swiss government and the International Red Cross, and one was located wandering in a Nigerian forest. The government said at the time of the abductions that 276 students were captured by Boko Haram; 57 escaped within two days of the incident, and two more escaped separately.

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The kidnappings sparked global outrage, particularly on social media. Celebrities involved themselves in the campaign to demand action through the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag.

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