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US sends 80 troops to help find kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

Washington, May 23 (): The White House said on Wednesday, the Obama administration has positioned 80 members from its military workforce at Chad to help the national efforts and find out the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by Islamist militants Boko Haram.

Lt. Col. Myles Caggins spokesperson of Pentagon said the team will have mostly Air Force workers responsible for working a single unarmed, unmanned drone. The drone will be flying out of an airstrip in Chad, which shares a portion of its western border with north-eastern Nigeria, with a task to hunt for the kidnapped Nigerian girls.

In a letter to Congress, President Barack Obama said the personnel sent to Chad will support the operation of surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft for the operations over northern Nigeria and its surrounding area.

He did not mention the kind of aircraft positioned, but said the force will remain in Chad until its support in resolving the kidnapping situation is no longer required.

The U.S. service members will be allotted to work as an equipped security force with an aim to protect the team. The team was scheduled to arrive Chad on Wednesday.

Obama announced the decision with a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and the Senate, thus notifying lawmakers about all the steps proceeding to help in the return of the kidnapped girls.

The Nigerian young women and girls, all from a school in northern Nigeria, were abducted by an Islamic terrorist group known as Boko Haram last month. Dozens of girls had escaped, but the leader of the group has threatened through a video to sell most of the 276 schoolgirls remaining for slavery if the government does not release imprisoned militants.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s government has come under extreme criticism for an early slow response to the kidnappings. Since then, the international community has assured its assistance.

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