- The Washington Times - Monday, May 26, 2014

A Nigerian military official says he knows the whereabouts of the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by a terrorist group, but he said the country will not use military force to free the girls, a Nigerian news agency reported Monday.

“We want our girls back, I can tell you that our military can and will do it, but where they are held, can we go there with force? Nobody should say Nigerian military does not know what it is doing; we can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back,” said Nigeria’s chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh, in comments reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.

Air Marshal Badeh also reportedly said President Goodluck Jonathan had “empowered” the military to “do the work,” but he would not say where the girls were being held, calling that information a “military secret.”

Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from a school in northern Nigeria last month by terrorist organization Boko Haram — a name which means “western education is sin” in the Hausa language.

Nigerians have accused their government of not acting quickly enough when the girls were initially kidnapped, and of not doing enough to find and free the more than 200 hundred that are still missing.