Nigerian Girls Likely Split Up by Now

US team arrives in country to help

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2014 8:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – About a dozen members of a US team have arrived in Nigeria to help with the hunt for the kidnapped girls, reports Voice of America, but the effort gets tougher by the day. "We do think they have been broken up into smaller groups," says a Pentagon official. Adding to the trouble, the best guess is that the girls already have been taken out of Nigeria, reports CNN. "The search must be in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, to see if we can find information," says a UN special envoy. "It's vital to use the information to find the girls before they are dispersed across Africa, which is a very real possibility."

The problems don't end there. A Nigerian police officer was shot in the neck during a gunfight with suspected Boko Haram members between Maiduguri and Chibok yesterday, which suggests the group is going after those searching for the girls. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, meanwhile, is trying to put a positive spin on the international attention. "By God's grace, we will conquer the terrorists," he said. "I believe the kidnap of these girls will be the beginning of the end for terror in Nigeria."

Karilyn Coates, 10, joins others in a candlelight vigil for the more than 300 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, May 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Mark Reis)
Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue kidnapped schoolgirls of Chibok secondary school outside the defense headquarters, in Abuja, Nigeria Tuesday, May 6 2014.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
In this Monday April 21, 2014, file photo, four female students of government secondary school Chibok, who were abducted by gunmen and reunited with their families, walk together in Chibok, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Haruna Umar, File)
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