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UPDATE: 1:55 PM EST

The White House has announced that a U.S. team will head to Nigeria to help in the search for hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls.

According to the Associated Press:

Spokesman Jay Carney says Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated the offer during a conversation Tuesday with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Carney says “time is of the essence.” He urged the Nigerian government to ensure that it is using all available resources to ensure the safe return of the girls.

Carney says the U.S. team would include military and law enforcement personnel capable of sharing with the Nigerians expertise in intelligence, investigations, hostage negotiating and victim assistance.

President Obama is to discuss the issue with Kerry on Tuesday afternoon.

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Following an announcement from members of Boko Haram that confirmed the Islamist militant group was responsible for the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls, eight others have been taken from a northeast village.

The newly missing range in age from 12 to 15, according to police.

“They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army colour. They started shooting in our village,” said Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe, where the attack happened.

A police source, who could not be named, said the girls were taken away on trucks, along with looted livestock and food. The Islamist rebels are still holding more than 200 girls they abducted from a secondary school on April 14.

As this is a developing story, we’ll keep you updated with the latest.

SOURCE: Reuters | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.

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