BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — The government of a Nigerian state identified 53 girls who escaped a mass kidnapping by Islamic militants, potentially subjecting the girls to stigma in this conservative society.
Some 276 girls remain missing, and U.S. officials and agents are arriving in Nigeria to help the Nigerian government, which has been widely criticized for not doing enough to find the girls.
Reuben Abati, a spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said in a statement late Thursday that the president had met with the U.S. ambassador to discuss "the modalities for the actualization" of the U.S. offer of help.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic law on Nigeria, abducted more than 300 girls from a boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok on April 15.
The government of Borno state, where Chibok is located, said in a statement received Friday that the 53 girls it identified by name include those who fled the day they were kidnapped and those who escaped from Boko Haram camps days later.
Chibok residents are staging a street protest Friday to press Borno's government to do more to find the missing girls.
Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 people this year.