Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Nigerian Villagers Repel Boko Haram Attack

Villagers in northern Nigeria have fought off an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants and killed scores of the group's fighters.

Witnesses and officials say residents of the Kalabalge area in Borno state received advance warning of the attack.

Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper quotes a state legislator as saying about 200 militants were killed. He said the villagers also captured some of the attackers.

Vigilante groups have formed across northern Nigeria to combat Boko Haram. They say the Nigerian military has not done enough to protect people there.

Authorities continue to search for 276 schoolgirls that the militants kidnapped from the village of Chibok last month. The U.S. military said Wednesday it is now using drones in addition to manned aircraft to help find the girls.

Boko Haram released a video this week showing about 100 of the kidnapped girls, who were seen wearing hijabs and reciting Islamic prayers.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau said in the video that the girls had been "converted," and would not be released until the group's imprisoned fighters are freed.

Nigeria's government said again Wednesday it is exploring "all options" to win the girls' safe return. Parents of the girls and supporters holding protests have demanded the government take action.

Nigerian security forces have been battling the militants since they began an uprising in 2009.

Some Information for this report was provided by AP.

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