Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Mother of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl identifies daughter in Boko Haram video

Woman in remote town of Chibok, where children were stolen, recognised daughter among those sitting on ground wearing veils

The mother of one of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls has identified her daughter as appearing in a video posted to YouTube by their captors Boko Haram, according to a school leader in Chibok.

The woman was shown the video on Monday evening and said she saw her missing daughter among the captives sat on the ground and wearing veils.

Local officials in the state of Borno had been tasked with ensuring that all families in the region were shown the footage, and the news from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok today confirms Boko Haram's claims that the video showed the missing schoolgirls.

Dumoma Mpur, the chair of the school's parent-teachers association, said that the community was increasingly concerned that despite the international focus on the incident they had "not seen a single soldier in Chibok yet".

Read more: What is Boko Haram?

"The video got parents apprehensive again after watching it but the various steps taken by the governments and the coming of the foreign troops is boosting our spirit," Mpur said.

On Monday night US officials said they had begun deploying manned aircraft to scour an area of remote forest three times the size of Wales in the hunt for the missing girls.

“We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government's permission,” a Washington spokesperson said.

The State Department's Jen Psaki told a news briefing late on Monday that the US was providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support. She said teams on the ground “are digging in on the search and coordinating closely with the Nigerian government as well as international partners and allies”.

At the weekend David Cameron joined the huge social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, despite facing criticism from some observers on Twitter, and said that intelligence and counter-terror agents from the UK would be joining the larger US team already on the ground in Nigeria.

In the video released yesterday, around 130 girls appeared quiet, docile and passive against a rural backdrop. Officials from Nigeria, the US and Britain have reportedly been checking the footage against their own intelligence reports in an attempt to identify the location where it was filmed.