Video claims to show kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

Around 100 girls are shown in the footage released by Boko Haram. Credit: AFP

In a newly released video that reportedly shows the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, the leader of Islamist rebel group Boko Haram says he will release the girls in exchange for prisoners.

The 17-minute footage, obtained by news agency AFP, shows a group of girls, wearing headscarves, reciting Al-Fatiha - the first chapter from the Qu'ran - before one girl is seen saying the passage alone. The location is undisclosed but appears rural.

The video also shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau making demands to the camera.

Read more: Boko Haram: Who are the radicals kidnapping Nigeria's schoolgirls?

He says: "Those girls, those girls that you have been busy with, have converted to Islam.”

“Today, it has been four or five years since you have taken our brothers, they are now in your prison. You do a lot of things and now you come and talk about these girls. We will only release them after you release our brothers.”

Boko Haram claim they will release the girls in exchange for prisoners. Credit: AFP

The video's release comes after the governor of the Nigerian state of Borno said he had passed information onto the military for verification after reported sightings of the missing girls.

More: #BringBackOurGirls creator: Nigeria's government refused to act

The Nigerian government has been heavily criticised at home and abroad for being slow to react to the kidnapping of the 276 girls from their school dormitory.

The girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory last month. Credit: AFP

The girls were seized by militants from a secondary school in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14. Some managed to escape but around 200 remain missing.

Islamist rebel group Boko Haram have said the girls would be released in exchange for the release of prisoners. Credit: AFP

Their kidnapping sparked an online campaign with the hastag 'bringbackourgirls', which has since been supported by politicians and famous faces alike.