The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

World News

May 14, 2014

Nigeria opens door for talks with kidnappers

(Continued)

ABUJA, Nigeria —

On Tuesday, President Goodluck Jonathan asked the National Assembly to extend the state of emergency in Borno and two other northeastern states for another six months. The emergency, first imposed in May 2013, and extended in December, has been fiercely opposed by many northern politicians who argue that it has created great hardships for the local population while allowing the military to commit rights abuses even as it fails to curtail the insurgency.

Nigerian security forces have moved quickly to force the militants from urban centers, but have struggled for months to dislodge them from rural areas and hideouts in mountain caves and the dense Sambisa forest bordering Cameroon.

Britain and the U.S. are now actively involved in the effort to rescue the missing girls. Britain, which has dispatched security experts to Nigeria, said it was also offering "longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and to defeat Boko Haram."

Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the U.S. was coordinating its efforts with other allies in Nigeria. Countries including Israel and Spain have also offered to help.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's government said in a statement late Tuesday that Interpol has issued a red alert for the arrest of a terror suspect known as Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, an army deserter who is accused of playing a role in a deadly April 14 bombing in Abuja blamed on Boko Haram.

___

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Matthew Lee in Washington and Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda, contributed to this report.

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