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US deploys planes in search for Nigerian girls
11:06, 13 May 2014, 752

AKIPRESS.COM - _74750377_nigeria_borno_624map_v2 The US has revealed it is flying manned surveillance missions over Nigeria to try to find more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The US is also sharing commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerian government, officials said.

It comes after militants released a video of about 130 girls, saying they could be swapped for jailed fighters.

Boko Haram seized them from a school in the northern Borno state on 14 April, according to BBC.

"We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government's permission," a senior administration official, who declined to be named, said.

A team of about 30 US experts - members of the FBI and defence and state departments - is in Nigeria to help with the search.

The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan in Washington says the types of aircraft deployed haven't been revealed, but the US does have sophisticated planes that can listen into a wide range of mobile phone and telecommunications traffic.


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