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Israel offers Nigeria help in finding abducted schoolgirls

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Israel’s assistance to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in locating at least 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by an Islamist rebel group.

“Israel expresses deep shock over the crime that has been committed against the girls,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement issued Sunday by his office. “Israel is ready to assist in locating the girls and in fighting the brutal terrorism that is taking place in Nigeria.”

The Islamist rebel group Boko Haram kidnapped the girls last month from a boarding school in the northern Borno state. About 50 of the girls escaped.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau acknowledged the abduction of the girls, aged 12-17, and threatened to “sell” them in the market as “slaves,” according to the French news agency AFP.

Britain, France and England are currently assisting Nigeria in searching for the girls.

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