The Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls Have Reportedly Been Located — But It's Too Dangerous To Rescue Them

There’s good news and bad news for the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April. The good news is that the Nigerian government says it knows where the girls are being held. The bad news is that the military won’t be attempting a rescue operation any time soon, as it says doing so would be too dangerous for the girls.

According to Nigerian state media, Air Marshal Alex Barde made the announcement while speaking to a pro-military crowd on Monday. He refused to say where the military Islamist group Boko Haram is holding the girls, but insisted that the government is “working to get the girls back.”

“The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you,” Barde said. “We can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.”

The Nigerian government has been criticized for its slow response to the abduction, and on Thursday, the U.S. sent 80 troops to neighboring Chad to aid in the rescue effort. Barde lashed out at Western critics, telling them to “just leave us alone” while Nigeria works to get the girls back.

“I can tell you that our military can and will do it, but where [the girls] are held, can we go there with force?,’ Barde asked the attendees, who reportedly shouted “No!” in response. When Barde asked them what would happen if the military did use force to try and rescue the girls, the crowd yelled that “they will die.”