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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – The leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group denies agreeing to a cease-fire and says more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls all have converted to Islam and been married off.
Abubakar Shekau dashed hopes for a prisoner exchange to get the girls released and says "in this war, there is no going back." He spoke in a video released late Friday night and received by The Associated Press in the same way as previous messages.
Nigeria's military chief on Oct. 17 announced that Boko Haram had agreed to an immediate cease-fire to end a five-year insurgency that has killed thousands and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes in northeast Nigeria.
But attacks and abductions have continued. Boko Haram's kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in April prompted an international protest campaign.