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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Boko Haram 'is al Qaida operation', says Nigerian president

Published 17/05/2014 | 18:30

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Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan have a talk prior to the group photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit"
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan have a talk prior to the group photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit" AP Photo/Francois Mori
French President Francois Hollande, right, talks during the round table photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori , pool)
French President Francois Hollande, right, talks during the round table photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori , pool)
French President Francois Hollande, with, from left, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, Chad's President Idriss Debi, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, Cameroon President Paul Biya, Benin president Thomas Boni Yayi, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris
AP Photo/Francois Mori
French President Francois Hollande, with, from left, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, Chad's President Idriss Debi, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, Cameroon President Paul Biya, Benin president Thomas Boni Yayi, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris AP Photo/Francois Mori

Boko Haram, which is holding more than 200 girls captive, is "acting clearly as an al-Qaida operation" and is no longer a local problem, Nigeria's president says.

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President Goodluck Jonathan joined four other African leaders and representatives of France, Britain and the US on Saturday to hammer out details of an international response to the Islamic extremist group.

French President Francois Hollande said the effort will involve sharing intelligence, protecting borders, and quick action in a crisis.

Mr Hollande also emphasised that Boko Haram had clearly established ties with other terror groups in Africa, making it a problem throughout the continent and beyond.

France, which has negotiated the freedom of a priest and a French family who had been abducted by Boko Haram, called the summit to share intelligence and work to find the kidnapped girls.

Officials have said there will be no Western military operation and Nigeria has only reluctantly accepted outside help.

Press Association

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