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Nigerian defense chief: Abducted girls found

Abuja, Nigeria (AP) -- A Nigerian military official said the nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists six weeks ago have been located.

But the country's chief of defense said an assault to free them could get them killed. He wouldn't say where they are.

Air Marshal Alex Barde told thousands of demonstrators supporting the much criticized military that Nigerian troops can save the girls but won't kill them "in the name of trying to get them back." The supporters were brought in on buses, suggesting that it was an organized event.

The military and government have received scathing criticism at home and abroad for failing to rescue the girls, who were captured by an extremist group known as Boko Haram. The girls were seized from a remote northeastern school. Soldiers have told The Associated Press that they are not properly paid, are dumped in dangerous bush with no supplies and that the extremists holding the girls are better equipped than they are.

American planes are part of the international coalition that has been searching for the girls.

 
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