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Hundreds Feared Dead in New Nigerian Militant Attack

Hundreds of people are feared dead after militants attacked a town in northeastern Nigeria, setting fire to homes and businesses and shooting residents as they tried to escape.

Local officials say suspected Boko Haram militants stormed the remote town of Gamboru Ngala, on the border with Cameroon. News reports say more than 250 homes, the town's biggest market, and a police station were destroyed.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is providing details about a team of experts heading to Nigeria to help with the search for 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren says the team will arrive in a few days.

"Their mission there is simply to assess and advise. These personnel will be experts in areas to include communications, logistics, intelligence, all of the functionalities we believe will be helpful."

Warren says the United States is not considering a military operation to rescue the girls.

Nigeria said Wednesday Britain has also agreed to assist with the search. It said President Goodluck Jonathan asked for and received a commitment for Britain to use its satellite capability and other advanced tracking technologies.

In a video this week, Boko Haram's self-proclaimed leader, Abubakar Shekau, said that the militants intend to "sell" the girls.

Nigerian police on Wednesday offered a $300,000 reward for information leading to the students' location and rescue.

Boko Haram is blamed for thousands of deaths since it launched an uprising against the Nigerian government in 2009.

The group has attacked schools, churches, mosques, police stations, and markets while seeking to establish strict Islamic law in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

Nigeria declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states a year ago but efforts by the military to crush or contain the insurgency have been unsuccessful.