Nigerian Army Rescues Hundreds of Hostages from Boko Haram


In a significant breakthrough, the Nigerian army has freed hundreds of hostages, primarily women and children, who were held captive by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria for months or even years. This rescue operation marks a critical victory in the country’s ongoing battle against the Islamic extremist group.

According to The Associated Press, the Nigerian military, in a coordinated effort, successfully rescued 350 captives from the Sambisa Forest, a notorious Boko Haram stronghold. The group, which has been waging an insurgency since 2009, has used this forest as a base for launching attacks.

Maj. Gen. Ken Chigbu, a senior army officer, presented the freed hostages to authorities in Borno state this week, highlighting the success of the operation and the ongoing commitment to combating Boko Haram.

Among the Rescued Were 209 Children and 135 Women, Many with Infants

The recent rescue operation by the Nigerian army freed 209 children, 135 women, and six men from Boko Haram captivity. The hostages appeared exhausted and wore worn-out clothes. Many of the young girls had infants, likely born from forced marriages during their captivity, according to reports.

Hajara Umara, one of the rescued hostages, shared her ordeal, saying, “I always wanted to escape but couldn’t because of the children. If they caught you trying to escape, they would torture you and imprison you indefinitely.”

During the operation, several extremists were killed, and their makeshift houses were destroyed. The Nigerian army described it as a days-long military operation in an area that was once a bustling forest reserve along the border with Cameroon and Niger. Now, it serves as an enclave for Boko Haram and its breakaway factions, who launch attacks on people and security forces in neighboring countries.

The freed hostages have been transported to the Borno state government house, where authorities will care for them until they can return to their homes.

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