Amid concern, kidnapped Nigerian girls are named

HARUNA UMAR
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South Africans protest in solidarity against the abduction three weeks ago of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram and what protesters said was the failure of the Nigerian government and international community to rescue them, during a march to the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa Thursday, May 8, 2014. The kidnapping has ignited a viral social media campaign that has brought renewed attention to Boko Haram's campaign of violence, and protests around the world. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

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.