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Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh told reporters in the capital Abuja that they had located the missing girls.

Badeh was speaking after addressing demonstrators who had marched on Defence Headquarters in Abuja, the latest in a series of daily protests that has sought to keep up the pressure on the government.

“The good news for the girls is that we know where they are but we cannot tell you,” Badeh told reporters in the capital Abuja as the hostage crisis entered its seventh week.

Nigeria's  Abducted Girls in Boko  Haram Video

The officer refused to divulge any further details, describing the operation as a “military secret”, but he added: “We are working. We will get the girls back.”

Addressing the protesters, Badeh said the military was faced with a dilemma of whether to send in ground troops, given fears of deaths and casualties among the 223 girls still being held.

“So, we are working. The president (Goodluck Jonathan) is solidly behind us. The president has empowered us to do the work.” He added