U.S. to send team to help rescue schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram

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The United States will be sending a team to help rescue over 200 schoolgirls abducted from their school by Boko Haram last month.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly made the offer to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday.

The team, which would include U.S. military and law enforcement personnel, will assist the Nigerian government in the search for the girls, who are being held as hostages by the terrorist group.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said: "Time is of the essence. Appropriate action must be taken to locate and to free these young women before they are trafficked or killed."

Boko Haram kidnapped a further eight more girls Monday.

Three weeks ago, Boko Haram kidnapped 230 teenage girls from the Christian village of Chibok, in norther Nigeria. The kidnappers, armed with guns, bypassed security and took the girls as they slept in their dorms. All of the girls were between the ages of 16 and 18. A policeman and soldier who were guarding the school were killed.

Some of the girls were able to escape.

Protestors from around the world have called for the release of the schoolgirls.

Members of Islamist militia group Boko Haram are known to abduct women and forced them into sex slavery and domestic servitude, and their leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to kidnap girls from schools in a video just last month.

Members of Boko Haram have caused thousands of deaths in recent years. Boko Haram have declared intent to cleanse the country of Christians, eradicate Nigerian democracy and replace it with an Islamic state guided by Sharia law, although some Muslim communities believed to have betrayed Islam have also been targeted.

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