Boko Haram video being scrutinised

Nigerian military officials say it's too early to draw any conclusions from the footage.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. Picture: CNN

JOHANNESBURG - Families of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls are taking a closer look at the video released by the militant group Boko Haram this week.

Nigerian military officials said it was too early to draw any conclusions from the footage.

The teenagers were abducted last month from their school in Abuja.

The South African Commission for Gender Equality said it would seek the assistance of various African and global organisations to ensure the safe return of the girls.

Spokesperson Javu Baloyi said, "We'll make a Facebook page and post pictures. We'll liaise with the Nigerian High Commission to give us information everyday so we know what's going on until the girls are found."

Video: South Africa joins the calls for the girls to be freed.

Meanwhile, the leader of Boko Haram offered to release the girls in exchange for its members being held in detention.

The search for the girls intensified as a senior US administration official said the US deployed manned surveillance aircraft over Nigeria and was sharing satellite imagery with the Nigerian government.

About 100 girls wearing full veils and praying are shown in an undisclosed location in a portion of the 17-minute video in which Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks.

Boko Haram militants, who are fighting for an Islamist state, stormed a secondary school in the northeastern village of Chibok on 14 April and seized 276 girls who were taking exams. Some have managed to escape, but about 200 remain missing.

Video: Who is Boko Haram?