Boko Haram released a new video on Monday, according to AFP, claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed.
The authenticity of the video could not be determined. But the last one obtained by AFP did appear authentic.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, speaks on the video obtained by AFP for 17 minutes before showing what he said were about 130 of the girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location.
A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing
According to the BBC, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said they would be held until all imprisoned militants had been freed.
The video shows girls reciting the Quran as they make Islamic declarations of faith. Shekau appears in a separate part of the video, but never with the girls, CNN said.
“Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world,” the girls say in the video chant.
The kidnappings by Boko Haram–which has been rampaging through the country attacking and killing hundreds–have become an international cause, with pleas for the girls’ release and demands of action escalating, along with criticism of the Nigerian government for what critics say has been disinterest and inaction.
Contingents from several countries, including the United States, have been sent to Nigeria to aid in finding and recovering the kidnap victims.
For more on Boko Haram, its leader and the kidnappings, click here.