US ARMED FORCES TO AS­SIST SEARCH OF KID­NAPPED NIGE­RIAN GIRLS

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

The US Govern­ment has sent 80 mil­i­tary per­son­nel to Nigeria in an ef­fort to find the 200 school­girls ab­ducted by ter­ror­ist group Boko Haram last month has since threat­ened to sell them into slav­ery if the govern­ment fails to re­lease the group’s im­pris­oned mil­i­tants. In a let­ter to con­gres­sional lead­ers, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said: “These per­son­nel will sup­port the oper­a­tion of in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance air­craft for mis­sions over north­ern Nigeria and the sur­round­ing area. The force will re­main in Chad un­til its sup­port in re­solv­ing the kid­nap­ping sit­u­a­tion is no longer re­quired.” An un­named US mil­i­tary of­fi­cial was quoted by Reuters as say­ing that the flights would be car­ried out by an un­armed Preda­tor drone, which are in ad­di­tion to the un­manned sur­veil­lance flights al­ready per­formed by the Global Hawk air­craft. These per­son­nel will sup­port the oper­a­tion of in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance air­craft for mis­sions over north­ern Nigeria and the sur­round­ing area. Ap­prox­i­mately half of the newly de­ployed forces would be re­spon­si­ble for the launch and re­cov­ery of the air­craft, while the rest will pro­vide se­cu­rity to the ground forces, the of­fi­cial added. The de­ploy­ment adds to the in­ter­a­gency team com­pris­ing in­di­vid­u­als from the US State Depart­ment, the Federal Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) and the US Africa Com­mand (AFRICOM), which was sent by the Pen­tagon to Nigeria ear­lier this month. The US Depart­ment of De­fense (DoD) has been fly­ing un­manned sur­veil­lance flights over the dense forested re­gions of north-east Nigeria for al­most two weeks, and also signed an agree­ment to share of in­tel­li­gence data with the Nige­rian Govern­ment.

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