WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama expressed "outrage'' Saturday at the recent abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, adding the U.S. was assisting the African nation in the effort to locate and return the children.
"Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken,'' Obama said in the White House's weekly address, which is usually delivered by the president.
The first lady referred to Boko Haram — the Islamist extremist organization allegedly responsible for the kidnappings — as a "terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education," adding the group was composed of "grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls."
The abduction of the children from their school has sparked similar condemnation across the globe and campaigns on social media calling for the girls' release. Boko Haram has threatened to sell the children into slavery.
President Obama's administration is sending technical experts and other assistance to Nigeria to help find the girls.
The first lady spoke out on Mother's Day weekend, saying the incident had struck a personal chord as the mother of two daughters and calling the kidnappings a "matter of great significance for me."