Summit combats Boko Haram funds, arms, training

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A Nigerian, resident in Spain protests outside the Nigerian embassy in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 16, 2014 in support of the kidnapped school girls in Abuja, Nigeria. Boko Haram insurgents on April 15 abducted more than 300 students from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. Police say 53 managed to escape and 276 remain in captivity. (AP Photo/Paul White)

A Nigerian, resident in Spain protests outside the Nigerian embassy in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 16, 2014 in support of the kidnapped school girls in Abuja, Nigeria. Boko Haram insurgents on April 15 abducted more than 300 students from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. Police say 53 managed to escape and 276 remain in captivity. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Young French demonstrators hold up papers with the names symbolizing the abducted girls in Nigeria during a demonstration at Trocadero, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet meet at Elysee Palace to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French President Francois Hollande, left, poses with Cameroon President Paul Biya upon his arrival for the “Paris’ Security in Nigeria summit”, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French President Francois Hollande, left, poses with Cameroon President Paul Biya upon his arrival for the “Paris’ Security in Nigeria summit”, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French President Francois Hollande, right, talks with Cameroon President Paul Biya upon his arrival for the “Paris’ Security in Nigeria summit”, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Leaders from Africa as well as officials from the United States, Britain and France meet to coordinate a response to Boko Haram, the fundamentalist group that abducted more than 300 girls and is accused of hundreds of deaths in the past year alone. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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PARIS (AP) — Boko Haram has ample funds, highly sophisticated weaponry and advanced training with some of the world’s most experienced terrorists, the French president said Saturday as he and African leaders grappled with how to combat the Islamic extremist group whose reach extends to five countries.

Hours after two more attacks in Boko Haram strongholds — one in Nigeria that left a village torched and 40 people dead and another in Cameroon — the leaders agreed to improve policing of frontiers, share intelligence, and trace the weapons and cash that are the group’s lifeblood.

At the summit in Paris intended to hammer out a plan to find and free 276 schoolgirls being held hostage by Boko Haram, intelligence officials from the U.S., Europe and Africa shared information while heads of state and top diplomats tackled policy.

“This group is armed, with heavy weapons of an unimaginable sophistication and the ability to use them,” said French President Francois Hollande.

He said the weapons came from chaotic Libya, and the training took place in Mali before the ouster of its al-Qaida linked Islamist leaders. As for the money, Hollande said its origins were murky.

“Boko Haram is acting clearly as an al-Qaida operation,” said Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who had only reluctantly accepted outside help after years of insisting the group was a local problem.

Cameroon, which French officials said until recently also treated Boko Haram as a purely Nigerian issue, has become increasingly involved. The attack late Friday against a Chinese engineering firm’s camp left at least 10 people missing and one person dead. China is a major investor in the region, helping build infrastructure, public health projects and sports facilities and importing crude oil, timber and cotton.

The camp was in the same nearly trackless parkland where the girls were first spirited away after an attack on their school in northern Nigeria, highlighting Boko Haram’s ability to cross borders unimpeded.

An intelligence cell involving French, British and American agents is already operating out of Nigeria, but Boko Haram has seemingly continued to strike unimpeded.

Suspected Islamic militants attacked another northeast village before dawn on Saturday, killing about 40 people and burning all the huts as well as three vehicles, according to a member of a vigilante group that went to the village, Dalwa-Masuba, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. He spoke on condition of anonymity because his group, one of many vigilante organizations set up to fight Boko Haram, does not permit members to talk to reporters.

Hollande also emphasized that Boko Haram had clearly established ties with other terror groups in Africa, making it a concern throughout the continent and beyond.

That could provide an opening for U.N. sanctions against the group to freeze its assets and impose travel bans against members. Wendy Sherman, a U.S. diplomat who was at Saturday’s talks, said the sanctions could come as soon as next week.

“I can’t imagine any country which would not support this designation,” she said.

Surveillance jets have joined the search and Hollande left open the possibility that French fighter jets could be deployed.

Boko Haram has offered to exchange the captive girls for jailed insurgents, while threatening otherwise to sell them into slavery.

Officials have said there will be no Western military operation. British officials say Jonathan has ruled out swapping prisoners for the girls.

“There

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