Boko Haram video shows Nigerian girls
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Screenshot, BBC
Boko Haram video claiming to show Nigerian girls Photo by Screenshot, BBC
AFP
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau Photo by AFP

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria's Islamist Boko Haram militant group, said on Monday he would release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by his fighters in exchange for prisoners, according to a video seen by Agence France-Presse.

The 17-minute video released on Monday by Boko Haram shows about 100 girls wearing full veils praying in an undisclosed location, having apparently converted to Islam. The group said they would not be released until all military prisoners were freed.

A total of 276 girls were abducted April 14 by the Islamist group Boko in an attack that has drawn global condemnation and prompted some Western powers to provide assistance. Some 223 are still missing.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan accepted an Israeli offer to assist in the efforts to find find them. The offer was made on Sunday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke with Jonathan by phone. "Israel expresses deep shock at the crime against the girls," Netanyahu told the Nigerian president, according to the prime minister's bureau. "We are ready to help in finding the girls and fighting the cruel terrorism inflicted on you.