US Sends 80 Troops to Find Kidnapped Girls
Pentagon says they're going to Chad
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2014 3:28 PM CDT
Women attend a demonstration in Abuja, Nigeria, in this file photo.   (AP Photo / Sunday Alamba)

(Newser) – The US is putting some muscle behind its promise to help find the kidnapped girls of Nigeria. The White House told Congress today that it has sent 80 troops to neighboring Chad to help track down the girls and their Boko Haram captors, reports the Washington Post. The statement didn't spell out specifics except to say that "these personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area."

The White House letter adds that they will remain there until no longer needed. And that could be a while, as a Pentagon spokesman made clear yesterday. “We’re talking about an area roughly the size of West Virginia, and it’s dense forest jungle," he said of the search. Also today, Nigeria asked the UN to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, a move that would give nations the power to freeze the group's assets and impose embargoes, reports CNN. Nigeria blames the group for yesterday's car bombings that killed more than 100.