UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The United Nations secretary-general is making a personal appeal to the Boko Haram and Islamic State extremist groups to "immediately and unconditionally" free the hundreds of children they have abducted.
Ban Ki-moon spoke out Thursday during informal remarks to the U.N. General Assembly and again to reporters afterward. He said he was making the appeal "as a father and grandfather" in addition to his global role.
Boko Haram horrified the world last April when it kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, of whom more than 200 remain missing. The group has abducted hundreds of other boys, girls and young men and women.
The Islamic State group also has been accused of kidnapping children, especially girls, in its sweep across parts of Syria and Iraq.