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Nigeria rescues 338 people held by Boko Haram

AFP | ADEROGBA OBISESAN
Published : Oct 29, 2015, 2:14 am IST
Updated : Oct 29, 2015, 2:14 am IST

A handout picture provided by the Nigerian Army on Wednesday shows some of the 338 people who were rescued from Boko Haram during an Army operation and evacuated to Mubi, Nigeria. — AFP

Nigeria.jpg
 Nigeria.jpg

A handout picture provided by the Nigerian Army on Wednesday shows some of the 338 people who were rescued from Boko Haram during an Army operation and evacuated to Mubi, Nigeria. — AFP

Nigerian troops have rescued 338 people, almost all of them women and children, held by Boko Haram Islamists near the group’s Sambisa forest stronghold in the restive northeast, the Army said Wednesday.

“The (Army) unit ... rescued 338 persons that were held captive by the terrorists,” the Army said of the Tuesday operation, adding that 192 of the survivors were children and 138 women.

The raid targeted “suspected Boko Haram terrorist camps at Bulajilin and Manawashe villages” on the edge of the Sambisa forest, the Army said in a statement. It said that troops killed 30 suspected jihadists and seized a cache of arms and ammunition in the area.

The statement also said four Boko Haram suspects on a suicide bombing mission to Gubula town in nearby Adamawa state were ambushed and killed by government troops.

Some weapons, unexploded ordnances, mortar bombs and some cash were recovered from the suspects, it said.

Boko Haram is believed to be holding more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014 in its stronghold in Sambisa forest.

The audacious kidnapping of the girls sparked outrage around the world, with strong condemnation of then President Goodluck Jonathan for his slow response to their plight.

It was not clear whether any of the Chibok girls were among those rescued.

The Nigerian military has in recent months claimed a string of successes against Boko Haram in its quest to end the hardline Islamist group’s six-year insurgency.

Early August, the army claimed to have freed 178 people, including more than 100 children, held hostage by Boko Haram, following an operation near Aulari town, about 70 km south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. The Air Force said it had launched strikes on the group’s vehicle depots.

Location: Nigeria, Lagos