People hold placards as hundreds of Soweto residents gather at the YMCA in Soweto, Johannesbourg, on May 22, 2014, to demonstrate for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The United States has deployed 80 military personnel to Chad to help findthe 223 girls still missing since their abduction on April 14, 2014.
People hold placards as hundreds of Soweto residents gather at the YMCA in Soweto, Johannesbourg, on May 22, 2014, to demonstrate for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The United States has deployed 80 military personnel to Chad to help findthe 223 girls still missing since their abduction on April 14, 2014. AFP Photo - Mujahid Saf

Military says they've located kidnapped Nigerian girls

NIGERIA'S highest ranking military officer gave a glimmer of hope to the families of more than 200 schoolgirls held by Boko Haram militants, revealing they had located the missing teenagers.

"The good news for the girls is that we know where they are but we cannot tell you," Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh told reporters in the capital Abuja as the hostage crisis entered its seventh week.

Nigeria's government and military have been sharply criticised for their response to the mass abduction on April 14 and were finally forced to accept foreign help, including from the United States, in the rescue effort.

Unmanned US drones and surveillance aircraft have been scouring northeast Nigeria and neighbouring Chad from the air while British, French and Israeli teams have been on the ground providing specialist assistance.

Badeh was speaking after addressing demonstrators who had marched on Defence Headquarters in Abuja, the latest in a series of daily protests that has sought to keep up the pressure on the government.

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