Nigeria sets up probe into girls’ school attack, abductions

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s government said Tuesday it has set up a panel to investigate the abduction of 110 girls from their school last week by suspected members of the extremist Boko Haram group.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said a major-general will head the panel of Nigerian security agencies that will examine what security was in place at the school and in its northern town, Dapchi in Yobe State, before the attack.

The military had withdrawn from Dapchi weeks before the Feb. 19 attack, saying its troops were needed elsewhere and claiming that security was handed over to police.

Police deny that, saying the military never entrusted security to it.

Nigeria said the girls missing from the Government Girls Science and Technical College range from 11 to 19.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “the immediate and unconditional release of all missing girls and for their safe return to their families,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The U.N. chief urged Nigerian authorities to swiftly bring those responsible for their abduction to justice, Dujarric said, and he reiterated the U.N.’s support to Nigeria and countries in the region in their fight against terrorism.

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