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Kidnapped girls forced to convert and sold for $12 each.

THE SEVENTIES NORTH BANK

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — With a malevolent laugh, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremists tells the world that more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls have all been converted to Islam and married off, dashing hopes for their freedom.

"If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you ... to die from grief," Abubakar Shekau sneers, addressing the parents of the girls and young women kidnapped from a remote boarding school more than six months ago.

In a new video released late Friday night, the Boko Haram leader also denies there is a cease-fire with the Nigerian government and threatens to kill an unidentified German hostage.

"Don't you know we are still holding your German hostage (who is) always crying," he taunts. "If we want, we will hack him or slaughter him or shoot him."He said Boko Haram is interested only in "battle, hitting, striking and killing with the gun, which we look forward to like a tasty meal," he said.

And the only news of the girls has come from Shekau, who appeared to dash hopes that they would be released in an exchange for detained Boko Haram fighters.

"The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off," Shekau says with a chortle. The extremist fighters have ordered girls to stay out of Western-style schools and get married. Boko Haram is a nickname meaning "Western education is sinful" in the Hausa language.

An earlier video in May showed some of the kidnapped girls, including two explaining why they had converted to Islam. Unconfirmed reports have indicated the girls have been divided into groups and that some have been carried across borders, into Cameroon and Chad. There also have been reports that they were forced to marry fighters who paid a nominal bride price equivalent to $12.

Some 276 girls and young women were kidnapped in the early hours of April 15 from a boarding school in the remote town of Chibok. Dozens escaped on their own in the first couple of days but 219 remain missing.
 
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