Abuja, July 13 (Reuters): Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot at by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education, has pledged while on a trip to Nigeria to help free a group of schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants.
Today, 16-year-old Malala met with parents of the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped by militant group Boko Haram from a school in April.
Boko Haram, a Taliban-inspired movement, say they are fighting to establish an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria. The group, whose name means “Western education is sinful”, has killed thousands and abducted hundreds since launching an uprising in 2009.
Some of the parents broke down into tears as Malala spoke at a hotel in the capital Abuja today.
“I can see those girls as my sisters... and I’m going to speak up for them until they are released,” said Malala, who celebrates her 17th birthday on Monday in Nigeria, where she is scheduled to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan.