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Women hold banners during a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok
Girls forced to marry Nigerian extremists Protesters demand rescue of kidnapped girls

ABUJA, April 30, (Agencies): Nigerian activists planned to march on parliament Wednesday to demand the government and military do more to rescue scores of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists more than two weeks ago.

The protest, dubbed “a million woman march” and promoted on Twitter under BringBackOurGirls, was not likely to draw a massive crowd. But organiser Hadiza Bala Usman told AFP that the turnout was less important than raising awareness about the plight of the hostages whose April 14 abduction at gunpoint from their school in the northeast has outraged Africa’s most populous nation. “We have put the word out on social media and we hope people will come. But even if only 10 people come, it will be 10 people who are committed to ensuring that these girls are not disregarded,” she said. Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday.

Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts. “The latest reports are that they have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad,” Aliyu said. It was not possible to immediately verify the reports.

The Nigerian government needs to get international help to rescue the more than 200 missing girls kidnapped in the northeast by the Boko Haram terrorist network two weeks ago, said a federal senator for the area in northeastern Nigeria. The government must do “whatever it takes, even seeking external support to make sure these girls are released,” Sen Ali Ndume said. “The longer it takes the dimmer the chances of finding them, the longer it takes the more traumatized the family and the abducted girls are.” About 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape from the captors in the first days after their abduction, but some 220 remain missing, according to the principal of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Asabe Kwambura

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